The importance of checklists in surgery | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Lifehouse News

Perioperative Nurses Week is an opportunity to celebrate the professionals who work side by side with surgeons in the operating theatre and runs from 4 to 10 October. Perioperative Nurses play a crucial role in the care of patients immediately before and after surgery. Establishing and following checklist routines is an important step in the process of getting a patient ready for surgery.

The adoption of checklists in the surgery was inspired by the military and aviation field, where step by step guides are vital to the smooth operation of aircrafts. However, unlike the aviation industry, checklists for Perioperative Nurses are extremely time specific and unique for each surgery.

With the attention to detail that is necessary for each operation, and the complexity of knowledge held by Perioperative Nurses, checklists ensure that nothing is overlooked and patient care is of the highest possible quality. The checklists followed by our nurses include procedures on:

  • The necessary equipment for each operation, including ordering and organising the equipment to ensure it can be easily accessed by the surgeon.
  • The PPE worn by all people in the operating theatre to minimise patient infection.
  • Making sure patient information is 100% accurate.
  • The full introduction of all people in the operating theatre to facilitate effective teamwork throughout the surgery.
  • Plans to fix possible errors or mistakes that could be made throughout the operation.

The implementation of checklists by Perioperative Nurses ensures that human error is avoided and operations flow smoothly.

We at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse are extremely grateful for our team of Perioperative Nurses, and we thank them for all of the hard work that they do!

To find out more about the history of checklists in aviation and medicine, listen to The Hidden Brain podcast by NPR.

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