How Can a Nurse Practitioner Improve Patient Compliance and Patient Education in a Perioperative Setting?

Jane C. Rothrock, DNSc, RN, CNOR, FAAN


January 07, 2008

The Perioperative Advanced Practice Nurse

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has developed Perioperative Advanced Practice Nurse Competency Statements. As defined by AORN, the perioperative advanced practice registered nurse (APN) is a clinical expert in the management of individual and groups of surgical patients.[1] The competency statements are framed within domains of safety, physiologic outcomes, behavioral responses (of the patient and family), and outcomes of the health system. Within the domain of behavioral responses, there are 2 competency statements that apply to the perioperative APN:

  • Individual collaborative treatment plans for surgical patients promote patient responses that are inherent in an optimal recovery process.

  • Superior individualized plan of care directed by an APN assures ethical, legal, and competent surgical patient care.

The goal of these competency statements is to assure that patients and their families have knowledge about the surgical procedure. Such knowledge encompasses psychological, sociologic, and spiritual responses to the procedure so that the patient and family are able to participate in the patient's recovery. Inherent in achieving such an outcome is the implementation of preoperative and postoperative teaching, which are part of discharge planning. The perioperative APN has the unique opportunity and knowledge base to coordinate efforts to meet the education needs of surgical patients and their families or significant others.


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