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Training Programme increasing Scrub Nurse confidence and Theatre efficiency

2nd October 2019

Orthopaedics surgery can be life changing for patients, often giving them freedom from years of pain and discomfort. The Orthopaedic team at Belfast Trust recognise the impact of their work but identified that scrub nurse’s play a crucial role in assisting all 44 surgeons within the service during procedures.

Twenty-one Nurses from Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children’s took part in an orthopaedic surgeon and senior orthopaedic nurse led training programme that aimed to increase scrub nurse confidence in a variety of specialised equipment used in surgery. This vital training would ensure patient care would be greatly improved when using this equipment in surgery, leading to better post-operative outcomes.

One Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon was assigned to each session along with a company representative with training registrars augmenting three stations. A standardised operating procedure for each set was agreed and nursing staff were assigned to rotate through each station in small groups. Each piece of equipment was identified by the surgeon, followed by an explanation of how it would be used in surgery.

All nursing staff, including the most experienced, registered increased confidence after the training and there was particular improvement in respect to the external fixator, flexible nailing and arthroscopy sets. A video for each orthopaedic set was produced for Belfast Trust’s e-learning platform to facilitate continued revision. The long-term outcome of increased confidence and understanding of procedures is reduced operating time and enhanced theatre efficiency.

Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, Elaine Robinson said “The paediatric orthopaedic surgeons and theatre charge nurses are much encouraged by the outcome of the training and plan to continue the programme. We acknowledge that the variety of instruments used in orthopaedic surgery can be challenging, but within a culture of learning confidence is established, a motivation to continuous improvement is attained and subsequently theatre efficiency. The ability for the entire team to work in collaboration and in tandem is essential to safe delivery of patient care. The main point of all of this really comes back to patient safety, experience and comfort.”