Islanders who want to find out more about operations and how operating theatres work are being invited to find out more at the General Hospital this week as national Peri-operative awareness week begins.
Each day, a stand will be manned in the Parade entrance of the Hospital between 11 am and 2 pm, by nursing staff, so people who have any questions about having an operation can have them answered, and there will also be instruments used by theatre staff on display.
The aim of peri-operative awareness week is to highlight the roles of the teams involved behind the patient journey before, during and after an operation.
Judith Gindill, head of nursing for the theatres and anaesthesia at the General Hospital said: “The word ‘peri-operative’ is the time period that includes the three major phases of surgery. The initial phase, the pre-operative phase, lasts from the decision to have surgery until the beginning of surgery. The second phase is the surgery itself. The final phase, the post-operative period, is the time after surgery until recovery is complete.
“Staff in the Hospital’s Day Surgery Unit (DSU) and in the hospital’s main theatres carry out thousands of surgical procedures a year on Islanders, and the most important aspect is making people feel welcome and comfortable with what lies ahead before surgery begins.
“Preparation for an operation is really important, as evidence shows, that the better informed a patient is about what their operation entails and what to expect before, immediately after, and into the extended recovery phase at home, the better the outcome, and the quicker the patient’s life returns to normal. This is particularly evident with children, who are offered a visit to the Day Surgery Unit some days before their operation. We hope that Islsnders will come and see us this week, and we can answer any questions they might have.”
The peri-operative week aims to highlight, promote and raise the profile of the role of the peri-operative team in maintaining patient safety and the quality of care that we provide to patients during an operation or a surgical procedure.
Staff work in a variety of ways to ensure that people are well-informed about their operations. For example, in the DSU, there is a “snakes and ladder” style wall game to advise parents and children about surgery and recovery in a child-friendly way, and boards in the DSU carry information about the team so patients can become familiar with staff.
Peri-operative week is an initiative of the Association for Peri-Operative Practitioners and this is the second time the week has been organised.
Peri-operative practitioners can be both registered nurses with an additional qualification in theatre nursing, but also professionals who have undertaken a specific theatre qualification in operating department practice and are called an Operating Department Practitioner - ODP, which is a 2 year diploma or 3 year degree qualification.
It is currently not possible to undertake ODP training in Jersey, although health care assistants are trained to work in theatres.
Mrs Gindill added: “Our overall aim is to provide a smooth journey for patients and plan their surgery well.”
The display about Peri-operative week is in the Parade entrance of the Hospital all week between 11 am and 2pm.