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Within the nursing sector, there are a broad range of avenues for professionals to specialise in. One of the most demanding avenues of nursing is perioperative care- the practice of providing nursing duties for patients before, during and after surgery. 

Perioperative care is typically divided into three main phases:

-Preoperative (prior to surgery)

-Intraoperative (during surgery)

-Postoperative (following surgery)

Throughout each phase of perioperative care, operating theatre nurses are faced with stressful situations. Emergency situations that perioperative nurses face can lead to emotionally driven problems with patients family and friends. As perioperative nurses act as a point of communication between these loved ones, an essential skill is being able to handle high-pressure issues.  

Different types of perioperative nurses specialise in various fields:

-Circulating nurse: The circulating nurse handles patient care during the surgical process. 

-Instrument nurse: The instrument (also known as a scrub) nurse is in charge of sterilising equipment for surgery.

-Perianesthesia nurse: Also known as the recovery nurse, this type of nurse monitors patients following their surgery to ensure there are no post-anaesthesia effects on the patient.

Perioperative nurse in South Australia?

There is an association to benefit perioperative nurses within SA! The South Australian Perioperative Nurses Association (SAPNA) is a local organisation that has been supporting perioperative nurses for the past 50 years. For information on how to be involved with SAPNA, follow this link: https://www.sapna.org.au

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