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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: NUR3133 Module Title: POST ANAESTHETIC CARE
Module Provider: Health & Social Care Short Name: NUR3133
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: SAMBROOK A Mr (HSC)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Semester 2
Assessment Pattern
Practice Guidance notes

Students are expected to participate in the post-anaesthetic care of patients following anaesthesia and surgery. They should be encouraged to explore a variety of approaches to the provision of skilled patient care for children and adults with the emphasis on the holistic care of the patient.

Portfolio of Practice Evidence

Should include 3 reading logs relating to practice and a practice diary, covering a range of patient groups in the post anaesthetic phase. It will focus on the management of the care and interventions of a patient. It is expected that the student should complete a minimum of one entry per week in their practice diary. Where ‘record of discussion’ is indicated in the evidence of achievement section of the handbook use the (CbD – Case based discussion form)

Must also include a DOPs for: recovering a paed, setting up a PCA/ epidural pump and the administering of pain medication in line with local Trust policy.

The students also have a workbook that must be completed and submitted.


Describe the physiology of pain and explain the pharmacology and benefits to multi-modal pain relief making reference to good and bad examples seen in practice (3000 words)

Module Overview
Module Aims
To introduce the student to the Post-Anaesthetic Care area of the operating department to enable them to develop the skills required to undertake post-anaesthetic care of all identified patient groups and to apply relevant knowledge and understanding whilst participating in the process of care delivery in the immediate post-anaesthetic period.

Learning Outcomes

1. Manage the patient’s airway in the immediate post-op period, to include both adults and children

2. Prepare and administer prescribed drugs to a patient via different routes including intro-muscular, subcutaneous, oral and topical.

3. Respond appropriately in the event of an adverse reaction and accurately record on the appropriate documentation details of drug administration

4. Monitor and assess patients from all identified groups as they recover from general and regional anaesthesia and recognise and take appropriate action to alterations in the patient’s physiological parameters

5. Check that all drains, dressings, wound supports and other support equipment is functioning correctly and take remedial action where required.

6. Assess, manage and implement pain relief strategies for improving patient comfort within all identified patient groups. Provide care in the immediate post-operative period to meet individual needs, concerns and beliefs.

7. Document care and treatment regarding the patient’s condition during immediate post-operative period, and ensure this information is communicated to the receiving person when handing over the patient’s care.

8. Recognize the contributions of self and others in the process of communication with the patient, colleagues, carers and others

9. Develop an awareness of the complexity of individualized patient care in the immediate post-operative period.

10. State values that underpin professional care.

11. Discuss preparation and administration of prescribed drugs to a patient via different routes

12. Review how the type of procedure and the clinical speciality affect the requirements for post anaesthetic monitoring and care

13. Evaluate current legislation and policies which affect the practitioners work practice in post anaesthetic care

14. Recognise the potential risks to patients and adverse reactions that may occur during recovery from surgery and anaesthesia and ways to avoid or minimize these.

15. Explain the principles, methods and techniques for assessing and monitoring patient’s recovery from anaesthesia and for checking physiological parameters.

16. Compare methods of assessing the patient’s pain status and ways of managing pain to improve the patient's comfort.

17. Examine the function and methods of checking different types of support equipment used for patients as they recover from surgery and anaesthesia

18. Discuss what information should be recorded regarding the patient’s condition, care and treatment during surgery and why this is important and what information needs to be given to the receiving person when handing over a patient

19. Explain the principles and techniques of using artificial airways and patient positions to maintain unobstructed respiration including how surgical and anaesthetic procedures may compromise the airway

20. Discuss types, purpose and function of materials and equipment needed for airway management and discuss indications for use.

21. Relate anatomy and physiological processes to immediate post-op care.

22. Collect and interpret physiological data used in the continuing care of individual patients in the immediate post-operative period

23. Communicate and interact effectively across a range of clinical and professional situations

24. Use a range of appropriate information systems and write clear, legible and coherent records

25. Develop professional working relationships and take responsibility for own learning

Module Content
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Selected Texts/Journals
This is reading that is essential for your understanding of issues/concepts that will be covered by the module content.


Advidan M, Harvey AMR, Ponte J, Wendon J, Ginsburg R (2003) Perioperative Care , Anaesthesia, Pain Management and Intensive Care Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, London.

Carrie L.E.S, Popat M.T, Simpson P.J. (2001) Understanding Anaesthesia 4th edn. Butterworth Heinmann, Oxford

Galbraith E, Bullock S, Manias E, Hunt B, Richards A. (2007) Fundamentals of Pharmacology 2nd Edition Pearson Education Ltd

Hatfield A, Tronson M. (2009) The Complete Recovery Room Book, 4th Edition Oxford University Press, Oxford

Hawthorn J, Redmond K, (2001) Pain – Causes and Management Blackwell Science

Hughes S.J & Mardell A, (2009) Oxford Handbook of Perioperative Practice Oxford University Press, Oxford

Holdcroft A & Jaggar S (2005) Core Topics in Pain Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Jevon P, Ewens B. (2007) Monitoring the critically ill patient 2nd Edition Blackwell Publishing

Leaper D.J, Peel A. (2003) Handbook of Post-Op Complications Oxford Pocket Medicine, Oxford

McGavock H (2006) How drugs work: basic pharmacology for health care professionals 2nd edn Radcliffe

Shorten G, Carr D, Harmon D, Puig M. and Browne J. (2006) Postoperative Pain Management: An evidence-based guide to practice. Saunders Elsevier, London

Sully P, DAlla, J (2005) Essential Communication Skills for Nursing Elsevier Mosby, London

The Resuscitation Council, (2005) Guidelines, medical information and reports (online) The Resuscitation Council, United Kingdom


CODP – Technic, the Journal of Operating Department Practice
Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management


Last Updated
30TH JULY 2010