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Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine Australian perioperative nurses’ self-reported knowledge, attitudes, levels of education and support in relation to their participation in organ donation and procurement surgery.

Sample and setting: Data was collected from Australian perioperative nurses who are members of the peak national body Australian College of Perioperative Nurses (ACORN).

Methods: An online survey was distributed to ACORN members on behalf of the researchers. The online survey comprised 67 items encompassing open- and closed-ended questions along with graded Likert and ordinal multicategory scales.

Results: Of ACORN’s 4000 Australian members, 452 (11.3 per cent) responded to the survey. Participants were broadly represented via each state and territory across metropolitan, regional and rural settings with participation experiences in multi-organ procurement surgery (MOPS). A variety of perioperative nursing roles were represented with varying roles within MOPS. Overall, perioperative nurses reported familiarity with organ and tissue donation in Australia but felt that they required additional knowledge and education on aspects of MOPS. The majority of perioperative nurses supported organ donation and held positive attitudes and beliefs towards procurement surgical procedures; however, they felt they lacked support resources and access to relevant education.

Conclusion: The findings detailed within this study provide a national insight and contribute new knowledge and understanding of Australian perioperative nurses’ experiences, attitudes, education, knowledge and support needs when participating in organ procurement surgery. These findings have the potential to inform and influence the perioperative nursing profession, clinical initiatives, education delivery and wider health policy in relation to organ procurement services.

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