“A standard is a desired and achievable level of performance against which we can measure actual performance. Self regulating professions are characterized by standards of practice, based on the values of the profession.” – Canadian Nurses Association

National Standards for Perioperative Registered Nursing Practice

ORNAC holds the following beliefs regarding standards:

  • The implementation of standards contributes to the continued improvement of safe patient care and perioperative registered nursing practice in Canada.
  • Standards assist the perioperative Registered Nurse in attaining and maintaining competence in the performance of quality patient care.
  • Standards define safety measures for patients and the health care team.
  • Standards provide a baseline and tool for measurement when evaluating perioperative registered nursing practice.
  • Standards are an integral part of a facility's quality assurance and improvement program.
  • Standards provide a consistent reference base for programs such as orientation, in-service, continuing education, research, and formal perioperative post basic education programs.
  • Standards are the benchmark from which the perioperative Registered Nurse Manager and Educator provide the structure, resources, and environment for the health care team.

Conceptual Model for Perioperative Registered Nursing Practice

Conceptual ModelThe conceptual model provides direction for perioperative Registered Nursing practice. The surgical patient is the focus of perioperative Registered Nursing practice, which has as its' foundation professional and clinical standards, and competencies. The professional standards provide guidelines for the perioperative Registered Nurse on which to base decisions in such areas as ethics, legal aspects, and professional conduct. The competency statements reaffirm that perioperative Registered Nurses are responsible and accountable for the nursing care of the surgical patient during the perioperative phase.

In order to implement the standards and develop competence, the perioperative registered nurse shall be cognizant of the qualities necessary to become a Registered Nurse. Competence integrates the characteristics of knowledge, clinical and ethical decision-making, communication skills, psychomotor skills, safety, accountability, responsibility, team organization, continuing education, and leadership skills.

The perioperative Registered Nurse is guided in the clinical area by these characteristics in order to function both independently and in collaboration with other members of the health care team. The clinical standards provide a basis for consistent, uniform, and acceptable outcomes of nursing practice. The perioperative Registered Nurse is systematically guided through the perioperative phase. The clinical standards are the benchmarks for quality improvement. The standards are implemented during the immediate preoperative, intraoperative, and immediate postoperative phases of the surgical patient's experience. Administration and management provide support, direction, leadership, resources, and commitment to the practice of these standards.

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