Preparation of nursing students for operating room exposure: A South African perspective

S Breedt, M J Labuschagne


Background. Limited time for training and preparation of student nurses in a busy operating room (OR) could be attributed to a shortage of qualified OR nurses in South Africa. 

Objective. To determine the participants’ perceptions of the content and modes of delivery of an improved preparation programme for nursing students to enhance learning in the OR. 

Methods. A qualitative research approach, which included nominal group discussions with students and OR staff, was used for data collection. 

Results. The need for an improved preparation programme was confirmed. The programme should address documentation, equipment, maintaining sterility, orientation, swab and instrument control, and OR preparation. Suggested modes of delivery include practical demonstrations in small groups, flip-the-classroom approach and simulation. 

Conclusion. Adequate preparation has a direct impact on students’ learning in and their impression of the OR, which could result in more students selecting OR nursing as a career path.

Authors' affiliations

S Breedt, Division Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

M J Labuschagne, Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2019;11(1):22-26. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2019.v11i1.1072

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-04-03
Date published: 2019-04-03

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