Dimensions of perioperative nursing for a national specialty nomenclature
Before nurses can develop a clinical database capable of evaluating quality of care or validating their impact on health or illness, they must describe the basic dimensions of their specialty. The purpose of this study was to define the dimensions of clinical perioperative nursing practice. Experienced perioperative nurses (n=239) were mailed a survey and asked to rank the frequency with which specific patient diagnoses occurred in their daily practice (1=never occurs; 5=occurs almost all the time) and the priority of treatment each diagnosis required (1=never requires attention of the nurse; 5=demands immediate attention of the nurse). Completion of the form indicated consent to participate in the study. Following a principal component analysis and theoretical discussion by perioperative experts, four dimensions of perioperative practice were delineated: (a) patient and family behavioural responses to surgery (26·7% of variance, α=0·92); (b) perioperative patient safety (10·1% of variance, α=0·89); (c) perioperative physiological response to surgery (5·7% of variance, α=0·87); and (d) the health systems required to deliver perioperative care. Dimensions extracted in this analysis served as the domains for the new perioperative nursing nomenclature.