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Preoperative patient teaching: the practice and perceptions among surgical ward nurses

Authors

  • Chi-Kong Lee MNurs, BNurs, RN,

    Specialty Nurse
    1. Department of Surgery, United Christian Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong SAR, China
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  • Iris F-K Lee PhD, BNurs, RN

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    1. The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
    • Department of Surgery, United Christian Hospital, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong SAR, China
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Correspondence: Iris Fung-Kam Lee, Associate Professor, The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Room 831, Esther Lee Building, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, The New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China. Telephone: +852 3943 6228.

E-mail: fk95lee@cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To explore the consistency between the perceptions and actual practice of preoperative patient teaching and also the factors affecting the provision of teaching from the perspective of nurses working in surgical wards.

Background

Preoperative teaching is beneficial to surgical patients in alleviating their anxiety and promoting their postoperative recovery. Despite the leading role in patient teaching by nurses, sparse studies have been addressed the consistency between nurses' perceptions and their actual practice of preoperative teaching in surgical wards.

Design

A cross-sectional survey.

Method

Data were collected by using self-reported preoperative teaching questionnaires together with nurse demographic data sheets. Sampling setting was an acute public hospital and all nurses working in surgical wards (= 100) were approached in the study.

Results

A total of 86 nurses returned the questionnaires. ‘Details of anaesthesia’ was the most prominent preoperative teaching component rated by nurses although their major teaching was pertained to ‘preoperative preparation’. In addition, oral explanation was reported as the most prevalent way of information delivery and internet was the least preferred method. Discrepancies between nurses' perceptions and actual practice were found in this study. Moreover, nurses' time availability, language barriers and tight operation schedules were perceived as top factors affecting the provision of preoperative teaching. Furthermore, nurses' satisfaction with such patient teaching was significantly associated with their professional training and their daily workload in the clinical setting.

Conclusions

Preoperative patient teaching was not fully achieved by nurses in this study, and the results highlighted the conflicting issues related to the implementation process that could be resolved by means of proper planning and management in clinical practice.

Relevance to clinical practice

Healthcare organisations and nurse managers should periodically review the existing clinical resources so that sufficient preoperative teaching strategies can be provided. Nurses' perceptions and satisfaction towards preoperative teaching can be compared with those of the patients in further studies so that the insights for developing an effective preoperative teaching programme can be more comprehensive.

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