By: 17 December 2019
Charity launches nationwide survey to understand challenges of perioperative workforce

The Association for Perioperative Practice has launched a nationwide survey in a bid to better understand the challenges faced by those working within the operating theatre and associated areas.

The online survey, which aims to identify the prevalence and effects of issues such as bullying, pressure and the level of support from senior members of the operating theatre, comprises a series of questions relating to best practice, culture, and behaviour within the perioperative environment.

Respondents will be asked to select whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree with the question they are presented with.

The Harrogate-based charity has purposely ensured responses will be kept completely anonymous so that theatre practitioners and students have a safe outlet where they can communicate their experiences and concerns honestly.

Dawn Stott, CEO of the association said: “We are continually looking for ways to support the perioperative workforce and understand how certain issues affect patient safety and outcomes.

“Whilst we know that working within the perioperative environment is an extremely rewarding profession, we’ve recognised that for some, it can bring challenges. Some of these challenges are perfectly normal and unpreventable, but some are considered unacceptable.

“We want to provide a safe space for people to communicate these challenges so that we can gain a better understanding of the severance and tailor the support we provide.”

As the leading membership organisation for the perioperative workforce, the Association for Perioperative Practice put patient and staff safety at the heart of all they do.

For almost 60 years they have worked to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, sterile services departments and associated areas.

Their mission is to improve standards of care and patient safety within the perioperative arena by determining correct standards and promoting best practice, facilitating education and practice development, providing professional support services for perioperative practitioners, providing a forum for partnership with industry and shaping healthcare policy in the UK.

They developed the survey following worldwide claims that the environment in which healthcare workers are working is rapidly declining, causing severe burnout and a variety of preventable mental health struggles.

The charity believes that by obtaining first-hand knowledge of the issues those working in the theatre environment are facing, they can further enhance their support to members and the wider perioperative community.

Dawn added:  “As an organisation, we take patient outcomes and the wellbeing of all perioperative practitioners very seriously.

“What we want to do is obtain an accurate understanding of the issues they may be facing, but also understand the percentage of people they affect so that we can campaign for change.

“There’s a lot of negativity in the media at the moment, so we also hope to highlight that in some perioperative environments, many healthcare workers have very positive experiences.

“By also communicating the positives, we hope to raise awareness that a perioperative career can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable.”

Data collected from the survey will be analysed internally and used to drive a nine-month campaign focusing specifically on the importance of creating a positive perioperative environment and how this aids best practice, correct standards of surgery and leads to better patient outcomes.

Those working within the perioperative environment and associated areas are invited to provide their honest thoughts and feedback via the online survey here, throughout the whole of December.