Course Overview

This programme is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Perioperative Nursing. The full-time programme is offered full-time over two calendar years. Taught components of the programme are delivered in a blended learning format. Blended learning is an innovative teaching strategy which involves a combination of face-to-face and on-line learning. This means that most learning/teaching will be delivered on-line through Blackboard, an interactive learning system which connects directly to the University from your own home computer. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. The programme is comprised of six theory /practice modules. In all modules there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice, similarly, practice placements allow students to explore “new” knowledge in practice, enabling them an opportunity to integrate theory and practice. 

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland normally within the students own work setting. Where the environment does not provide sufficient opportunities to meet the learning outcomes of the programme additional placements will be required by the student in sites which will provide the experience needed. A minimum of 1,000 clinical hours need to be completed in the specialist area while undertaking the programme.

GOOD REASONS TO STUDY THIS COURSE

  1. The course is approved by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills.
  2. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching.
  3. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible and easier to combine working full-time with studying.

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applicants apply on-line via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System, and applications can be made from the previous October through to the August preceding the programme commencement in September. Please note if you are aiming for a postgraduate diploma in this specialist Master/Postgraduate Diploma programme you still need to choose ‘Academic Level’ of “taught masters” to find the programme you wish to apply to. 

Applications are put forward for review to the relevant Programme Director when they have been marked complete (application fee paid & requested supporting documents submitted). Applicants are required to submit a letter from their employer confirming financial and placement support.  Applicants are offered places and are required to accept their place on the programme within a specific timeline. Once they have accepted their place, applicants are invited to register online. Administration staff check that this has occurred on or in advance of the induction day (held in the week before the first week of teaching in semester one (usually first week in September).

Selection will be made by the Programme Director, in consultation with the Head of School, based on applicants’ written application.  Applications will be evaluated on the following:

  • Meet the entry criteria (See above entry requirements).
  • Be working in the required specialist area, i.e., perioperative setting for the duration of the programme.
  • Be supported to undertake any additional placement(s) that may be required as outlined in the curriculum document before completion of the programme.

Documentation required to complete application

  • A copy of current NMBI registration.
  • Copies of academic transcripts from completed educational courses.
  • Copies of official awards (parchments) from completed educational courses.
  • Written commitment/memo of understanding or equivalent from the director of nursing/employer to support the student during the clinical practicum.

 

 

Who Teaches this Course

Elaine O’Hara,
Lecturer/ Post Graduate Perioperative Programme Director/Specialist Module Leader
B.N.S Degree (Hons) R.G.N., MSc in Nurse Education (Hons)
Registered Nurse Tutor
PGD in Healthcare Simulation & Patient Safety (Hons) Transferable Research Skills.

Sinead Hahessy,
Lecturer/ Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative) programme director/ Core Module Leader
R.G.N., B.A. (Hons), M.A. (Soc. Sc.), PG Cert in Teaching and Learning. PG Cert in Generic and Transferable Research Skills.

Dr. Maura Dowling,
Lecturer/Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing (Haematology)/ Core Module Leader
PhD; MA; MSc (Nurse Education); BNS (Hons.); R.G.N; R.N.T.

Dr. Brona Mooney,
Lecturer/ Research Dissertation Module Leader
PhD; MA; MSc (Nurse Education); BNS (Hons.); PG Cert in Business Enterprise; Cert in Critical Care Nursing, R.G.N; R.N.T.

Requirements and Assessment

A variety of assessment strategies are employed across the modules. These include engagement with on-line discussion boards/blogging, etivities, reflections, case studies, MCQs and assignments.

Students are required to attend all workshops and to participate in other academic activities, for example, e-tivities, discussion boards/ blogs, simulation, workshops etc. as required, unless prevented by some unavoidable cause of absence. Scheduled face-to-face workshops, discussion boards/blogs and e-tivities are important components of the programme, which are designed to help students develop a sense of group identity and engage with programme content. These activities are carefully selected to build students’ knowledge and skill. Students are expected to keep up a consistent rate of good attendance and participation so that their performance will not be adversely affected. Students who miss classes are responsible for updating themselves on any information provided during those sessions. Students’ attendance and participation at workshops and engagement in online work is monitored by the Programme Director.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Be a registered nurse on the General division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI);
  • Have a minimum of six months’ post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
  • Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., theatre (perioperative setting) and have as a minimum six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  • Provide written evidence of support from their Director of Nursing for the duration of the programme;
  • Have an honours bachelor’s degree at NFQ Level 8 in nursing or a comparable qualification. Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or Higher Diploma (Level 8) must demonstrate that they have successfully completed (in the previous two years) a module at Level 9. Please consult the professional credit awards at Level 9 at: www.nuigalway.ie/pca/pca.html.

Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years, full-time (Option to leave the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma after one year)

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10

Closing Date

NUIG does not set a deadline for receipt of applications (with some exceptions). Offers are issued on a continuous basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early & as soon as possible.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops.

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MDP1

Course Outline

Students complete three core and three specialist modules in the first year (60 ECTS) which is conducted over two semesters. There are two clinical competency assessments, one for each semester. Students’ clinical competency will be assessed by a designed preceptor and programme director (“pass/ fail”, submitted at the end of Semester 2). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the second year. 

All students are invited to a postgraduate Induction Day prior to commencing the programme. The Induction Day has many purposes. Students meet and get to know their classmates and lecturers, they are provided with information regarding programme content, the timetable, assessment schedule; programme Marks and Standards and the resources in place to support them while undertaking the programme. Students are taught how to access Blackboard use of Turnitin and an overview of plagiarism, overview of academic writing and how to contribute to discussion boards/blogs and submit assessments. Students are also orientated to the library on-line resources and other student support services. Students meet their programme director and module leaders in break out groups during the day. The roles of various key people are outlined i.e., programme director, module leader and clinical facilitator if relevant. Students are informed about the various apps they should download, role of the student union, role of Class representative, specific location of policies they may need access to over the course of the programme e.g., leave of absence, exemptions/recognition of prior learning (RPL). The clinical components of the programme and clinical assessments are discussed. The most important aspect of the day however is allowing students the time to meet and get to know one another. We find that peer support is extremely important for students attending blended learning programmes and ensure that there is plenty of time for students to get to know one another on the Induction Day. 

Year One is a blended learning programme and is delivered using a combination of on-line learning and face-to-face skills teaching.  In all modules, there is an emphasis on exploring the relevance of module content to practice. Each module runs over a minimum of 12 weeks. Modules are developed into guided learning packs comprising of multiple units. Each pack provides a study guide for the student and includes directed learning activities (both on-line and practice based), key reading and reflective points. Students will be supported on-line as they work through each unit, using the virtual learning environment Blackboard. Students will complete practice focused assessments throughout the programme. Students will be expected to engage in discussion boards/blogs and respond to posted questions or activities, and to complete e-tivities, case studies, MCQs and assignments. The methods of assessments provide students with the opportunity to clarify their understanding, debate key issues with peers and moderator, and consider how to apply their learning in their practice.  The moderator (a lecturer) will provide written feedback on assessments. 

The face-to-face teaching component (workshops/online) will take place at intervals throughout the semester. Workshops will focus on key skills and application. Online teaching will comprise of theoretical knowledge and provide an opportunity for engagement though group work and discussions. While undertaking the programme, students will continue to work in an approved perioperative clinical care setting. Programme assessments are structured in such a way allowing students to explore “new” knowledge in the reality of their practice, thus providing them with an opportunity to integrate theory and practice.  

To be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative) students must pass each module at 40% and pass the clinical competency assessments. Students must also meet the clinical hours’ requirement of 1,000 hours. 

 

To be eligible to attend the Master’s of Health Sciences (Year Two), students must obtain an overall result of 60% or over in Year One.

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required NU6618: Specialist Module 2 - Prevention of anaesthetic complications


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module has as its theme the prevention, recognition and safe treatment of anaesthetic complications. It will address the care of the patient in relation to general anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia, peripheral nerve blocks, local anaesthesia and recovery from anaesthesia.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically appraise the assessment, intervention and evaluation of patients undergoing general anaesthesia
  2. Critically appraise the assessment, intervention and evaluation of patients undergoing regional/local anaesthesia and peripheral nerve blocks
  3. Critically appraise the assessment, intervention and evaluation of patients undergoing emergency anaesthesia
  4. Critically appraise the assessment, intervention and evaluation of patients recovering from anaesthesia
  5. Critically appraise precursors to catastrophic anaesthetic events.
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6618: "Specialist Module 2 - Prevention of anaesthetic complications" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6439: Service Improvement


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will allow the student the opportunity to plan and implement, with their manager, and an academic facilitator, a service improvement initiative. The project will focus on an issue of relevance to client care or service improvement and must be supported by the student’s line manager and/or clinical facilitator. Examples of the types of projects include: completion of a defined literature review supporting some aspect of unit work, preparation of a patient education leaflet (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a patient education pack (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a strategy to reduce waiting time, an initiative that will improve patient/staff safety, development/implementation of guidelines/policies, an initiative that improves the quality of patient services or the work environment, an initiative that saves time/money or any issue/problem/change that can be addressed through action. This work must be completed within a calendar year.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically examine a practice issue and contribute to service improvement
  2. Integrate and apply learning from other modules
  3. Work collaboratively with peers and clients
  4. Become an autonomous and independent learner
  5. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to implement a change in clinical practice
  6. Develop their skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6439: "Service Improvement" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Errors are inevitable in healthcare systems (Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, 2008). It is estimated that medical errors would rank 5 in the top 10 causes of death in the United States, ahead of accidents, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, if included on the National Centre for Health Statistics’ list (Joint Commission, 2005 p.7). In Ireland, the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (2008) acknowledge that healthcare will never be risk free but argue that it is critical that the systems in place are as safe as possible, that the right ‘checks and balances’ are in place and that learning results from mistakes. To ensure this happens it is important that programmes prepare nurses to promote and enhance clinical safety. The module is guided by the National Patient Safety Framework (The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2005) and the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for Medical Schools (World Health Organisation, 2009).
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critique the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘risk’ in context of their practice setting.
  2. Examine the concept of ‘clinical governance’ in the Irish healthcare system
  3. Identify and evaluate the factors that determine the quality and safety of healthcare from the perspective of (i) the nurse or midwife (ii) the client (iii) the multidisciplinary team and (iv) the wider healthcare system
  4. Identify local policies and procedures to improve clinical safety and apply safety principles in practice.
  5. Debate the tensions between ‘managing risk’ and ‘client autonomy
  6. Explore their role in promoting and enhancing safety as a member of the multidisciplinary team
  7. Complete a risk assessment relevant to their practice setting.
  8. Evaluate their contribution to quality improvement in their practice setting
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU623: "Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU921: Clinical Competence 1


Semester 1 | Credits: 0

Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU921: "Clinical Competence 1" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU616: Specialist Module 1 - Physiological effects of surgery


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module will focus on the development of knowledge and skills required to work effectively within the complex perioperative environment. There will be particular emphasis on the physiological effects of surgery. Application of the knowledge will relate to the assessment, intervention and evaluation of client care in relation to respiratory, circulatory, cardiac, renal and endocrine function. The physiological effects of surgery are explored in the context of the effects on these systems to include the metabolic changes induced by surgery/trauma, fluid and electrolyte imbalance and the inflammatory response.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss the physiological effects of surgery.
  2. Critically discuss the promotion of safety in the theatre environment
  3. • Critically discuss the care of patients requiring respiratory assistance and general anaesthesia
  4. • Critically discuss the function and maintenance of cardiovascular integrity in relation to patient care intra operatively
  5. • Critically examine the role of the nurse in assessment, intervention and evaluation of the patients’ need for fluid balance to be maintained intra operatively
  6. • Critically discuss the management of clients with an endocrine dysfunction during the perioperative period. Critically articulate the prevention of injury related to positioning of the patient for surgical procedure
  7. • Critically discuss the care of patients requiring assistance with thermoregulation including prevention of malignant hypo/hyperthermia
  8. • Critically assess hazards specific to the theatre environment in the provision of safe and effective perioperative nursing care
  9. • Critically discuss the legal and procedural requirements related to safe perioperative care to include patient information and consent
  10. • Critically analyse the psychological impact of impending surgery on the adult and paediatric patient to include nursing assessment, interventions and evaluation of nursing care to minimise psychological distress
  11. • Critically analyse the potential of hazards to staff in the theatre environment and articulate the policies/procedures to minimise harm
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU616: "Specialist Module 1 - Physiological effects of surgery" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6619: Specialist Module 3 - Prevention of surgical complications


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module focuses on the prevention of surgical complications as the overall theme. It will address physical and psychological aspects of patient care in relation to the prevention of infection, wound healing and care of equipment. Peri operative nursing management related to specialist surgery is also explored.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically discuss measures employed in the peri operative environment to reduce the risk of infection intra-operatively
  2. Critically analyse the aspects of infection controls employed in the perioperative environment
  3. Critically analyse the wound healing processes and factors that impede healing
  4. Critically articulate the care of instruments and equipment used in the perioperative area
  5. Critically discuss the management of the sterile field
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6619: "Specialist Module 3 - Prevention of surgical complications" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module focuses on developing further students understanding of the theoretical foundations of research, research methodologies and methods of data collection. The module has two major goals. Firstly, to provide students with the required knowledge and skills to interpret and implement research findings in their practice and secondly, to prepare students to undertake a piece of research. Students will be given an opportunity to recap on methodological approaches to quantitative and qualitative research. A key skill in promoting students independence is preparing students to complete their own research project under the supervision of a supervisor. Therefore, this module has a specific focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills of “doing” research.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate that they have an understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and how to ssystematically search for evidence
  2. Discuss theoretical perspectives on research methodology
  3. Explain clearly the origins, underpinning philosophical assumptions, key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  4. Articulate a research problem and formulate a research question or hypothesis as appropriate to guide the conduct of the study
  5. Justify the use of appropriate data collection, sampling, and data analysis methods for qualitative and quantitative research
  6. Create a plan with clear rationales for data collection, sampling, data analysis and rigour to be used when conducting a qualitative or quantitative study
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU502: "Advanced Research Methods" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU922: Clinical Competence 2


Semester 2 | Credits: 0

Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU922: "Clinical Competence 2" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (30 Credits)

Required NU6515: Research Dissertation


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students will be required to undertake a piece of primary research on a topic of relevance to their specialism. Students will be assigned a research supervisor who will support them in undertaking this work
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Developed a research question of significance to their specialist nursing practice.
  2. Identify the appropriate methodology to suit the research question and/or hypothesis
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical requirements within the study
  4. Demonstrate the ability to review and analyse relevant literature
  5. Identify the most appropriate method for data collection to answer the research question
  6. Demonstrate the ability to draw a significant and meaningful conclusion from the data analysis
  7. Prepare a scholarly report, which will demonstrate accurate expression, analysis and synthesis of ideas
Assessments

This module's usual assessment procedures, outlined below, may be affected by COVID-19 countermeasures. Current students should check Blackboard for up-to-date assessment information.

  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module NU6515: "Research Dissertation" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Perioperative), Major Award, is at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications. It is informed and guided by NMBI criteria. It is aimed at Registered General Nurses working in the perioperative environment. This programme provides nurses with the specific theoretical knowledge, skills and clinical reasoning abilities required to provide safe and high-quality care in the perioperative specialism. The concepts of patient centred care, evidence-based practice, and promotion of safety are examined in this programme. The learners’ knowledge of physiology, anatomy, ethical and legal practice, and specific operative procedures are also included. It covers a multitude of theory relevant to perioperative nursing practice resulting in significant career opportunities. 

Upon completing this programme, students have the requisite knowledge and clinical skills to work in a wide variety of peri-operative care settings, both in Ireland and Internationally. Past Graduates have found employment and promotion opportunities nationally and internationally. 

Furthermore, the programme has shown to support and facilitate nursing at specialist and advanced nursing levels. The programme is designed to support the development of knowledge, skills, attributes, and competencies in preparation for specialist and advanced roles within nursing. Successful completion of the Masters in Perioperative Nursing will offer students opportunities to be considered for clinical nurse specialist posts and advanced nursing practice posts.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,900 p.a. (Yr 1) & €3,450 (Yr 2) 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€6,676 p.a. 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€15,700 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

Elaine O’Hara,
Perioperative Programme Director,
School of Nursing & Midwifery,
Aras Moyola,
National University of Ireland, Galway.

T + 353 91 492 075
E elaine.e.ohara@nuigalway.ie
w
ww.nuigalway.ie/nursing.midwifery/

Therese

Therese Davey |   Graduate

I really enjoyed the modules. Thank you to Elaine for the excellent introduction informing us about all aspects of the modules. The extensive reading list contributed to interesting discussions on the blog. The study days had excellent workshops on difficult airway, recovery, and ECGs. I found it extremely beneficial. Elaine, Thank you so much for all your help and assistance during the module. I certainly enjoyed it.
Rachel

Rachel McLoughlin |   Graduate

The extensive use of materials covered a multitude of concepts which I believe has enhanced my practice. In my role as perioperative nurse, comprehending and anticipating complications is crucial. This programme specifically reviews the complex nature of perioperative nursing offering a comprehensive understanding of the nursing management required. The modules are organized in a way that promotes distant learning through the provision of blogs and online learning. The use of video presentations, PowerPoint videos, blackboard collaborate, and the varied learning methods used were stimulating. The workshops were a highlight for me. It covered a multitude of theory which was applicable to practice. I believe that because of this programme I have become a more competent in my role as perioperative nurse.
Suman

Suman Jossy |   Graduate

I would like to start by saying I am extremely grateful for being part of this programme. I work as a scrub nurse, so I had extremely limited experience in anesthetic care. I struggled with anesthetic emergencies as result of insufficient knowledge and practice until I started this programme. My ultimate motive for selecting this programme was to increase my knowledge in relation to anesthetic care, complications, and management. This programme has enhanced me theoretically and practically supporting my practice enabling me to provide safe perioperative nursing care. The programme provides relevant knowledge required to support the safe journey and care of the perioperative patient. I found the programme supportive and extremely helpful.

Downloads

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)