University of Technology Sydney

92044 Core Concepts in 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 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject aims to build upon the pillars of excellence; Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice. Expansion of the student’s professional development and understanding across the legal and ethical framework practiced within the perioperative environment is encouraged. Students will critically reflect on human, system and process risk factors pertinent to the perioperative workplace. Through fostering strategies related to effective communication, leadership and teamwork the student can examine how human factors can also contribute to increased patient safety. Students develop their cognitive skills by analysing, consolidating and synthesising their theoretical knowledge in relation to accountability in practice, evidence – based practice and clinical decision making in managing complex and/or deteriorating patient clinical situations. Greater depth of understanding will be sought by the students around the aspects of cultural safety applicable to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander surgical patient. This learning will be facilitated through a case study, involving an Aboriginal patient who undergoes lung transplantation. Cultural safety, organ donation and transplantation will therefore also be discussed and reviewed.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Evaluate the impact of speciality nursing practice and professional regulation on the perioperative patient, significant others and multidisciplinary team
B. Investigate the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of the perioperative nurse
C. Critically review patient safety and risk management strategies in the perioperative environment
D. Appraise research evidence to develop and improve clinical decision making skills
E. Analyse how human factors impact on interdisciplinary collaboration and contributes to patient safety
F. Identify the skills and knowledge required for the early recognise, escalation and management of the deteriorating perioperative patient
G. Examine the impact of professional fatigue and stress on the delivery of compassionate care in the perioperative setting
H. Demonstrates professional cultural competency and indigenous cultural respect

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, you will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage you to develop as a perioperative nurse, and to advance your professional development and non-clinical skills. These strategies include:

Orientation activities
Preparation for the Session - students are expected to undertake activities prior to the first week. These activities include online readings, videos, interaction with peers, and are important in helping students prepare for the subject's Assessment Tasks. This also provides students with an opportunity to meet and interact with peers. Students will learn through independent learning activities, group work, peer review, and participation in the Zoom meetings.

Independent learning activities
Relevant readings, videos, and activities will be made available online relevant to the topic of the week. Students are expected to come to Zoom meetings prepared. This will enhance the students’ ability to progress successfully throughout the subject and complete assessment items effectively. The online material aims to enhance students’ understanding of the topic or delve deeper into a more specific area, compare experiences and ideas with others, and gain feedback. Information and links to all these learning activities can be accessed via Canvas as well as the subject outline.

Zoom meetings
Zoom meetings will provide opportunities for group activities and discussion, self-assessment, peer review and formative feedback from the subject coordinator. Zoom meetings will be conducted at a time that enables the majority of students to contribute. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the first Zoom meeting as these prepare students for the subject’s Assessment tasks.

Feedback will be frequent and takes several forms including self-assessment, peer review, automatic feedback from interactive activities e.g. quizzes, and from the subject coordinator. Formative feedback throughout the subject aims to increase student performance at summative assessments.

Content (topics)

This subject covers a range of topics and issues relevant to the professional development of perioperative nurses.

  • Analysis of the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of the perioperative nurse
  • The role and responsibilities of the perioperative nurse during organ procurement and donation
  • Critical appraisal of human, system and process errors that are inherently implicated in reduced patient safety within the perioperative environment
  • Critical appraisal of effective patient safety measures, implementation and auditing of risk management strategies to facilitate optimal safe perioperative patient care
  • Garnering a greater understanding of cultural safety and care towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander surgical patients
  • Early detection, intervention and management of the deteriorating perioperative patient
  • The perioperative nurses role, responsibilities and management of a patient receiving a Massive Transfusion


Assessment task 1: Engagement, Participation and Reflection Assessment


These assessment activities will assist students to link knowledge and skills learned within the course content to their individual work settings and practice. Through separate activities, students will be required to review the resources and complete the associated activities in relation to:

  • Accountability, law and ethics
  • Leadership, communication and shared mental model
  • Cultural competence and Indigenous cultural respect
  • Professional fatigue and compassionate care.

Participation in these activities will support students’ development as advanced practitioners in the perioperative setting.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, E, G and H

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

.0, .0, .0, .0, .0 and .0

Weight: 30%

Discussion posts for interactive acitivites x 9, plus final reflection 500 words +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)


Further information is available in Canvas.

Assessment task 2: Patient Safety In-service Presentation


The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate knowledge of patient safety principles in the perioperative environment. Students will apply their knowledge of the National Safety and Quality Healthservice Standards (NSQHS 2017) through analysis of a patent safety incident.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

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

.0, .0, .0, .0 and .0

Weight: 25%

10 -15 slides (title page and final reference slides are not included) with speaker notes of 1000 words +/-10%


Further information is available in Canvas.

Assessment task 3: Deteriorating Patient Case Study


Students?will??advance their perioperative nursing practice by developing their knowledge and skills of National and Professional Standards in managing an acute deteriorating perioperative patient.


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):

.0, .0, .0, .0 and .0

Weight: 45%

1800 words +/- 10% (excluding references and appendices)


Further information is available in Canvas.

Required texts

There are no required text for this subject. All required readings and materials will be provided.

Recommended texts

Hamlin, L., Davies, M., Richardson-Tench, M., & Sutherland-Fraser, S. (2016). Perioperative nursing?: an introduction. (2nd ed.). Elsevier.

Staunton, P., & Chiarella, M. (2017). Law for nurses and midwives. (8th ed.). Elsevier.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
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 ( and
UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. 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.