Nursing Studies - Role of Nurse in Surgical Care - Revised

Gain a better understanding of a nurse's role in the surgical care of patients, with this free online nursing course.

Free Course
Nursing staff provide essential support during all phases of the surgical cycle, which encompasses the peri-operative, pre-operative, intra-operative, and recovery room phases. In this free nursing studies course, you will be introduced to the vital roles performed by the nursing team throughout the surgical cycle, and will be guided through some of the most essential surgical interventions that nurses are regularly involved in.




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This free nursing course will first introduce you to peri- and pre-operative patient care. You will learn the impact that surgical intervention can have on a patient and how this can require both physical and psychosocial adaptation for the patient and their family. You will study the reasons for surgical interventions as well as look into the classifications and descriptors accompanying them. The course will also discuss the factors that may cause patients psychological stress.

The course will then discuss the role of the nurse during the intraoperative and recovery room phase of surgery. You will learn about the descriptors used to classify surgical procedures which include ablative, diagnostic, constructive, reconstructive, palliative, and transplant. The course will then discuss the surgical team which includes the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the scrub nurse, and the circulating nurse as well as look into their key roles in the surgical process.

Surgery is an invasive procedure which can be very difficult for any patient. Regardless of the need for the surgery or the size of the surgery, any surgery that imposes physical and psychological stress is rarely considered "minor" by the patient. As a nurse, the ability to provide the right care for patients in this position is a powerful one. By taking this course, you will learn what you need to know to help patients going through this difficult experience. That is a truly meaningful skill.

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Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course you will be able to:

  • Cite facts related to the surgical experience
  • Identify the nursing implications related to preparing a patient for surgery
  • Examine doctor's orders for implementation of pre-operative care
  • Cite the nursing implications related to preparing a patient for surgery
  • Identify from descriptive statements, the key members of the surgical team
  • Identify three major classifications of anesthetic agents.
  • Define what complications should be prevented in the recovery room
  • Identify the nursing implications related to the prevention of respiratory distress


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:

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