Development of an Education Scheme for Improving Perioperative Nurses’ Competence in Ergonomics
Perioperative nurses have several high-risk tasks and musculoskeletal disorders are severe problems. Preventive measures are mostly insufficient. The ‘Ergonomic patient handling card®’ (later Card)—education scheme was introduced in Finland in 2009 with an aim of improving both caregivers’ and patient safety. Experiences of this multicomponent programme from both the care units and home care are good; the physical workload and sickness absences due to MSDs are decreasing. As the perioperative nurses’ work in Operating Rooms (later ORs) varies very much from the work in care units, a special education scheme for them was needed to be developed, aimed at defining the competencies, skills, and knowledge levels required to perform perioperative work safely; ensuring compliance with legislative requirements; and improving both, safety and quality in ORs.
The most stressful tasks in ORs in Finland were defined by a focus group and by risk assessments in the acute hospital. It produced similar results as the AORN guidance of seven high-risk patient handling tasks in ORs. The basic Card was a good base for developing a new teaching scheme. The new content has been tested by two pilot-courses. The evaluation results were positive and resulted in minor content changes. The new Card—education scheme for perioperative nurses consists of the same four parts as the basic Card. The practical training lasts 14 h whereof 7 h is trained in the ORs. Safe working methods and safe usage of appropriated equipment are emphasized in training.
KeywordsPerioperative nurse Competence Patient handling
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