The relationship between the perioperative nurse and the patient has suffered a long process of mutation throughout the last decades. If before all the dynamics experienced within an operating theatre were based upon organizational and logistical aspects, these days the focus lies on the patient and all the comfort and security demanded throughout a process that already reveals itself aggressive for the patient. Being the front-line person in this dynamic, the anaesthetic nurse plays a crucial and intense role on the patient’s experience.
An anaesthetic nurse is knowledgeable and technically skilled. However, as Flin and colleagues extensively analysed (2008), the way to safety and efficiency is the combination of technical with non-technical skills.
The following analysis is based upon three non-technical skills considered essential for the practice of anaesthetic nursing and for the appropriate use of knowledge and technical skills: communication, situation awareness and teamwork; additionally this essay will consider the way these three aspects influence and complement each other.
Due to the lack of extensive literature upon the anaesthetic nurse, many examples and correlations are supported on literature from either other fields of profession or other professionals who also work within the healthcare environment.
Communication, from the Latin root communicare, means to share or make common (Valpy 1828). Circular transactional models of communication refer to this complex phenomenon as a continuous and interactive process of information exchange in which crucial elements such as sender, receiver, channel and context are greatly influenced by biological, psychosocial and environmental factors (Arnold & Boggs 2011).
However it is fundamental to understand that communication is not restricted to words. Body language, posture, facial expression, voice tone and