The Australian College of Operating Room Nurses Standards for Perioperative Nursing: Ensuring the Quality of Health Care for All
Duff, J and Melville, R, The Australian College of Operating Room Nurses Standards for Perioperative Nursing: Ensuring the Quality of Health Care for All, ICN Conference 2013, 18-23 May, 2013, Melbourne, Australia (2013) [Conference Extract]
The Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN) exists for the purpose of contributing towards the highest standards of patient care and professional competence in the operative suite. We represent nurses in perioperative settings, those with an interest in perioperative nursing and those promoting best patient outcomes for people having surgery. In this paper, we describe how ACORN is ensuring the quality of healthcare for all perioperative patients by producing evidence-based Standards for Perioperative Nursing (Standards) and developing Competencies for Perioperative Nurses (Competencies) in Australia. ACORN has developed and refined the Standards over many years; indeed, the need to standardise practice was a key driver of the collegeís formation in 1977. These standards constitute the specialty knowledge of the perioperative nursing profession in Australia and they remain ACORNís most significant achievement. The Standards were initially based on expert opinion and consensus but in recent years the college has
partnered with the Johanna Briggs Institute to ensure they are based on the best available evidence. As a mark of their quality, the ACORN Standards are now routinely referred to in court proceedings; industrial relations disputes; and government policy. To complement the Standards, ACORN oversaw the development of specialty competencies for perioperative nurses. Together, the Standards and Competencies are invaluable tools for ensuring the quality of healthcare for all perioperative patients in Australia.