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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-31

From Systems to Tissues: A Revolution in Learning in Perioperative Education

1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Victoria University of Technology, Australia
2 Academic Development Unit, La Trobe University, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Marilyn Richardson-Tench
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Nursing, 33 McMahons Road, Ferntree Gully, Victoria 3156
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aim: This paper presents the results of an exploratory project undertaken to evaluate the change to teaching and learning of surgical specialties in the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Nursing (Perioperative) conducted at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia. Background: The teaching of perioperative nursing practices has traditionally been based on the medical model of surgical specializations, using information transmission as the main teaching approach. It has become clear to perioperative educators that it is possible to look at the basic theoretical principles involved in the teaching of surgical interventions from a different perspective. Method: This project is an exploratory descriptive study that employed a qualitative approach, using a reflective approach to teaching, results of a focus group discussion and subject assessment as data. Research Ethics Committee protocols were followed. A version of nominal group technique was used for the focus group interview. Outcomes: The restructure of this subject shows potential in bringing about a conceptual shift in nurse education in three areas: (1) Organizational principle or curriculum structure: from content focus to theoretical principles; (2) Learning mode: student involvement from passive student to professional decision maker; (3) Teaching strategy: from teacher-focused strategy with intentions to transmit information to a student-focused strategy aimed at students changing their conceptions. Conclusion: This study suggests that perioperative students are able to demonstrate critical thinking and apply principles of surgical technique across a range of specialty areas without having participated in the particular surgery beforehand.

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