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General Surgical and Orthopaedic Nursing

  • : Brisbane City QLD 4000

General Surgical and Orthopaedic Nursing

Includes: Trends in Surgical Nursing; Postoperative Deterioration; Anaesthetic Risk and Recovery; Consent; Litigation; Orthopaedic Assessment; Joint Replacements and much, much more ...


General Surgical nursing is a fast-paced area of healthcare that requires nurses to be equipped with the latest knowledge. Achieving outcomes such as reduced length of stays, adequate pain management, and patient satisfaction relies on nurses providing evidence-based care across the surgical pathway. This two day seminar will look at:

  • General trends in surgical nursing
  • A review of types of anaesthetics and their risks
  • Surgical pharmacology - an update on common medicines
  • Legal topics such as consent, scope of practice and duty of care
  • Orthopaedic nursing management

Gain up-to-date information and apply it to your practice immediately. Book now!


Need for Program

General nurses, and those working in surgical or acute areas, care for people with a broad range of conditions that require surgical intervention, including orthopaedics. Due to the adverse outcomes associated with preventable errors across the surgical pathway, nurses must ensure their practice is safe and underpinned by evidence so as to guarantee patient safety and satisfaction.

Purpose of Program

This program updates surgical nurses on current best-practice in regard to several fundamental aspects of surgical and orthopaedic nursing care so as to prevent errors and minimise complications for patients undergoing a range of surgical procedures.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this program it is expected that the participants will be able to:

  • Outline the factors that contribute to a patient being considered ‘high-risk’ in regard to surgical procedures and how nursing care can prevent these errors
  • Examine pain management best-practice in relation to surgical nursing, with particular focus on assessing pain and administering pharmacological agents to treat pain
  • Clearly understand your scope of professional practice as a surgical nurse to minimise your risk of litigation and and enhance patient safety
  • Describe the current indications for a range of joint replacements so as to provide appropriate patient education and improve patient satisfaction
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


    Factors Shaping Surgical Nursing Today - What You Need to Know

    If you are not at the table you are on the menu… The nature of surgical practice is rapidly changing and it is important that nurses know what these changes will mean for them. This is not only due to technology but also the increasing co-morbidity of patients. This rapid change places much pressure on the need for attention to risk and safety for patients and nurses. The key issues explored in this first session include:

    • Factors and trends that have changed surgical nursing
    • What are high risk surgeries today?
    • Obstacles or opportunities for surgical nurses?


    Anaesthetic Risk and Recovery

    The types of anaesthetics and the anaesthetic agents used affect the surgical patient’s level of risk and recovery phase. What implications can this have for nurses caring for patients post-operatively? This interactive session will explore:

    • What are the different types of anaesthetics and anaesthetic agents and when are they used?
    • Are the risks associated with anaesthetics the same across the lifespan?
    • Which factors can have a significant effect on the patient post anaesthetic?
    • What observations are vital in the first 24 hours post-surgery following anaesthesia?

    11:00am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Surgical Pharmacology - Update for Nurses

    Medication management plays a crucial role in meeting patient outcomes along the surgical pathway. From a pre-operative medication risk assessment, to intra-operative medications and medication management post-operative, it is imperative that all nurses have an understating of surgical pharmacology. This session will apply medication management principles in the surgical setting, to:

    • Improve patient care in pre-admission
    • Reduce peri-operative risk for patients with co-morbidities e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease
    • Prevent infection using antibacterial prophylaxis
    • Assess venous thromboembolism risk and align appropriate prophylaxis
    • Risk assess and manage post-operative pain and nausea/vomiting

    1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Assessing Pain in Surgical Patients

    It is unquestionable that there is a very real expectation of pain following a surgical procedure. The prevalence of acute surgical pain demands that all nurses working in surgical settings understand how to assess pain. Despite this, many patients experience unrelieved pain in the post-operatively period which can lead to preventable complications and impair outcomes. This session goes back to basics and looks at:

    • Pathophysiology of pain - what’s actually happening post-operatively?
    • Breaking down barriers - assessment of pain in patients with cognitive impairment and other communication challenges in the post-operative period
    • Expectations of pain - what amount of pain is reasonably expected and how can I communicate this to patients?
    • Assessment tools and Guidelines recommended by evidence

    2:45pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Managing Pain in Surgical Patients

    Evidence suggests that good pain management is intrinsically tied to improved patient outcomes such as reduced de-conditioning, rates of infection and other preventable complications. However, the complex nature of managing pain, particularly in the immediate post-operatively period requires nurses to be well informed. This session will build on the previous session and detail evidence-based nursing management of pain:

    • Interpreting and acting on your assessment findings to ensure optimal pain management
    • Complexities of pain management - tips for getting it right
    • Balancing act - which pharmacological agents are safe for use in an older person and does the type of surgical procedure or anaesthetic effect selection?
    • Non-pharmacological nursing management strategies

    4:00pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


    Surgical Nursing, the Law and Duty of Care

    In this interesting first session of day two, you will refresh your knowledge of the law and how it relates to the 'Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia'. In particular you will consider:

    • What constitutes a nurse’s duty of care and what does the law take into consideration when examining a case of professional neglect?


    Surgical Nurses - Scope of Practice, Decision Making and Accountability

    Many nurses continue to be confused about their scope of professional practice. However, it is important to be clear about your professional boundaries as breaching them can be catastrophic. In this session you will review your scope of practice as a surgical nurses and how it affects the decisions you are able to make. You will also look at the consequences that arise from poor accountability and role confusion.

    • Review your legal limitations
    • How does professional indemnity insurance work and what happens if there is a claim?

    10:30am Morning Tea and Coffee


    Case Scenario - Right of a Patient to Be Warned of Material Risks Relating to Surgery

    This session will look at the case of Rogers vs Whittaker and discuss the implications of the outcome of this case and what it means to everyday surgical nursing practice.

    • How much information does a patient have a right to be told about risks relating to elective surgery?
    • Who should advise the patient of the risks – only the doctor or does a surgical nurse have a responsibility to warn of potential risks?


    Trends in Litigation in Healthcare

    As law is a dynamic and ever changing construct, it is important that nurses have access to ongoing information about recent cases that have implications for professional practice. Professional Indemnity and related issues will also be included.

    • What are the latest updates, issues and current trends in litigation in health care in Australia?

    12:30pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Orthopaedic Surgical Nursing

    Orthopaedic assessment is a specialised skill that is applicable in many areas of nursing. Discussion includes:

    • The prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal disorders in Australia
    • The core principles of an orthopaedic assessment that are applicable to all patients within general clinical areas

    Orthopaedic conditions and procedures have a major impact on the patient's biomedical, functional and psychosocial health status. This part of the session will focus on recognising orthopaedic emergencies and complications:

    • Compartment syndrome
    • Fat embolism
    • Other emergencies - paralytic ileus, DVT, osteomyelitis and PEs


    Low Trauma Fracture Management

    Every day more than 40 Australians sustain a hip fracture associated with osteoporosis. A year later, less than half of those original 40 people will be able to walk as well as they did before and 6 or 7 will have died. This session will focus on the prevention and management of low trauma fractures of the hip, shoulder and spine.

    • Osteoporosis prevalence and associated fractures
    • Treatment for osteoporosis
    • Fracture prevention
    • Management options for the osteoporotic fracture

    2:45pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Surgical Interventions for the Orthopaedic Patient

    In 2010 there were 35 996 hip replacements and 44 490 knee replacements performed In Australia. This session will focus on the joint reconstruction and arthroplasty procedures from pre-admission through to rehabilitation systems.

    • Joint replacements
    • Joint reconstructions and arthroplasty
    • Rehabilitation


    Fracture Management, Traction and Spinal Fractures

    This session considers traction (non adhesive skin traction and skeletal traction) and spinal fracture management (halo brace and spinal beds).


    Future Trends in Orthopaedic Patient Management

    What are the new and expected developments in orthopaedic surgery and patient management?

    • The most recent developments and how this has changed patient management
    • Future developments
    • Impacts on nursing care and patient outcomes

    4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Suzanne Querruel

    Suzanne Querruel


    Suzi Querruel has been working in the perioperative field for the past decade. Her passion lies in perianaesthesia nursing and has been seeking to advance the field over the past few years. She is a tutor/lecturer for Western Sydney University [WSU] in the Bacheor of Nursing program and WSU The College in their Academic Pathways Programs. She is the unit coordinator at WSU The College for the subjects Health Communication and Skills in Health Science.

    She was previously Anaesthetic Coordinator at Westmead Private Hospital and also has held Sessional Nurse Educator positions at the Australian College of Nursing, Wesley Health Management and the University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney University and The University of Tasmania. She has been a Nurse Educator for Ausmed Education for the past three years and has collaborated program development for the perianaesthesia, perioperative, day surgery and surgical nursing seminars. She has held the position of National Vice President and NSW/ACT President of the Australian Society of Post Anaesthesia & Anaesthesia Nurses [ASPAAN] for two years and has recently seen the transition of ASPAAN to the Australian College of PeriAnaesthesia Nurses [ACPAN].

    Suzi holds a Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Anaesthetics & PACU), Masters of Nursing (Education), Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment and a Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] Practitioner Certificate.

    Jane O'Brien

    Jane O'Brien

    Jane O'Brien is a Clinical Nurse Specialist 2 Orthopaedics at Lismore Base Hospital. Previously, Jane held the role as a Clinical Nurse ConsultantOrthopaedics at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney.

    Dale Long

    Dale Long

    Dale Long is a Registered Nurse who has worked in various cancer care, palliative care and pain management roles in inpatient and domiciliary settings for the past 25 years, in both Victoria and Queensland. She is an experienced presenter with a strong commitment to educating nurses to improve the quality of pain management delivered to patients. Dale is a Member of the Australian Pain Society.

    Anne Garrahy

    Anne Garrahy

    Currently working in a nursing management role, Anne is a lawyer with experience in both a regional law firm and a national personal injury law firm. Anne has lengthy experience in industrial relations, and in clinical, management and education roles.

    Treasure McGuire

    Treasure McGuire

    Dr Treasure McGuire is a medicines information pharmacist, pharmacologist, educator and researcher. As Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Mater Health Services, she manages their Academic Practice Unit. She is also a Senior Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland and Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, Bond University, where she lectures on complementary medicines, reproductive health, medication safety and communicable diseases. In recognition of her services to medicines information, she received the Lilly International Fellowship in Hospital Pharmacy and the Bowl of Hygeia of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

    General Surgical and Orthopaedic Nursing
    Speciality Classification
    Provider Type
    12 hours 15 mins
    Start Date
    End Date
    12 hours 15 mins
    Brisbane City QLD 4000
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