Perioperative nurses’ understanding and experience of surgical conscience: a cross-national exploratory study

Dr Lynette Bowen1, Associate Professor Jed Duff1, Ms Oya Gumuskaya Bradley2

1University Of Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Australia,

2Yeditepe University, Instanbul, Turkey


Surgical conscience is a unique concept that is central to the clinical practice of perioperative nurses. Despite being well-established in the perioperative context, it has been poorly described and studied with the published literature limited to editorials and practice advice.

Describe perioperative nurses understanding, experience, and application of surgical conscience and identify any cross-national differences.

This qualitative descriptive study will use one-on-one or small group interviews for data collection. Participants will be perioperative nurses with a minimum of two years of experience, recruited in Australia and Turkey through perioperative associations. Data will be thematically analysed to provide a rich description of the phenomenon.

The findings have the potential to inform new approaches to promote asepsis and patient safety using morality based methods in settings other than the perioperative environment; may inform how we might better teach surgical conscience, asepsis, patient safety and reduce transmission of infection in all clinical settings.

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