University of Technology Sydney

92881 Foundations of Perioperative Nursing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject aims to expand the students' awareness and understanding of perioperative nursing roles. Through the development of specialised perioperative knowledge, students advance their expertise in professional practice, risk management, collaboration, leadership and patient advocacy. Students establish strategies to build excellence in communication as well as flexible, innovative and supportive perioperative nursing practice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Examine the evolving role of the perioperative nurse in the context of different models of surgical care delivery, technological advances and their implications on patient care.
B. Develop specialised knowledge on a range of perioperative nursing assessments and interventions to enable high-level, collaborative practice.
C. Examine the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of the perioperative nurse.
D. Critically reflect upon perioperative-specific adverse events and associated risk management strategies.
E. Support optimal patient care and safety through leadership and advocacy within the perioperative environment.
F. Establish flexible, innovative and supportive practice through excellence in communication and collaboration.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective critical thinkers who contribute to practice, policy and research to enhance health care and health outcomes (1.0)
  • Are effective, collaborative and responsive leaders (2.0)
  • Are socially, culturally and ethically accountable and consider health care in a global context (3.0)
  • Communicate appropriately and consistently in diverse situations (4.0)
  • Embody the professional qualities appropriate to the scope of their role (5.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject provides a blend of teaching and learning opportunities through face-to-face workshops, self-directed and online learning. This subject also provides students with flexibility in assessment choices to support individual learning needs and make connections between prior knowledge and experiences and new information.

Online learning modules and discussions
Uses interactive, scenario-based learning which unfolds at the student’s pace, and peer feedback is immediately provided to develop students' reasoning and problem-solving skills. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in discussion on current issues within perioperative nursing with other students in online forums.

Lectures and online learning materials
This subject benefits from both the real-time delivery of content and access to online resources. Face to face lectures enables students to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology and engage with sensitive or confronting topics.

Personal, professional and expert narratives
Students will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with professional industry based experts in relation to the key concepts and learning objectives of the subject.

Simulated in-class role plays
Role-plays provided a simulated environment for students to practice new skills learnt through theory and knowledge development. Scenarios from relevant situations are used to depict real-life experiences in nursing practice. Students will have the opportunity to observe, interact and provide feedback within the facilitated debriefing, and reflect on their own skills, values, and experiences.

Structured decision making activities
Working in small teams students engage in real-time, shared decision-making activities. This assists students to engage with policies and utilise knowledge to formulate responses to situations, under time pressure, as would be expected within a clinical practice setting. Together, students learn to quickly achieve consensus for decisions. Feedback for decision outcomes is also provided in real-time allowing students to assess and reflect on their decision-making choices.

Communication skills development
Teaching and learning strategies incorporate the development of professional communication skills for all students. This encompasses professional and therapeutic communication required for nursing practice.

Content (topics)

This subject covers a range of topics and issues relevant for perioperative nurses to meet the physiological and psychological needs of surgical patients in the health care system. This subject will also explore the professional qualities and scope of practice of the different nursing roles within the perioperative environment focusing on the Instrument and Circulating nurse. This subject aligns closely with the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN) Guidelines for Perioperative Nursing.


Assessment task 1: Assessment 1: Knowledge and Skills Gaps Analysis


Professional development is multidimensional and includes being able to identify knowledge and skill gaps in order to assess and minimize practice risks. Using the ACORN 2018, 15th Edition ‘Standards for Perioperative Nursing’, Instrument Nurse Role: Standard Statement, criteria 1.1- 1.14 (pp. 31) you are to provide a comprehensive analysis of your own gaps in knowledge and skills in the Instrument Nursing role.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Type: Essay
Weight: 40%

2000 words


[no content]

Assessment task 2: Assessment 2 (parts A, B & C): Online Activities


To engage students in continuing professional development through online collaboration and discussion.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 6.0

Type: Exercises
Weight: 30%

500 words each post/activity

Assessment task 3: Assessment 3: Literature Review


To critically evaluate findings from evidence based literature on an aspect of perioperative nursing practice of the student’s interest.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Type: Essay
Weight: 30%

2000 words


A comprehensive list of references and other resources is available in this subject on UTSOnline.

Other resources

UTS Student Centres
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.