Perceptions of self-competence in theatre nurses and operating department practitioners
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Over the last 25 years, shortfalls in health care funding and a growing shortage of nurses entering the operating theatre (OT) has driven the development of roles for qualified, non-nursing personnel. Yet, historical differences in training and scope of practice of nurses and non-nursing personnel have influenced the convergence of these roles in providing competent patient care in the OT. This paper compares operating department practitioners (ODPs) and OT nurses' levels of perceived perioperative self-competence. A consecutive sample of 428 perioperative practitioners (ODPs and nurses) across three NHS trusts in Scotland was surveyed in 2011. Perioperative competence was assessed using a 40-item instrument comprising six subscales: foundational knowledge and skills, leadership, collaboration, proficiency, empathy, and professional development. The survey response rate was 50%. Internal consistency for the scale and its six competence domains was high, with Cronbach's alpha ranging from .73 to .95. Both groups reported their competence as high across all subscales. There were significant differences between the two groups in foundational knowledge and skills (p=.002), and empathy (p<.0001). These results suggest that there are more similarities than differences between ODPs and nurses. However, a defining difference lies in nurses' capacity to demonstrate "caring" skills that extend beyond those with a technical orientation.
ACORN: the official journal of perioperative nursing in Australia
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Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)