What factors within the peri-operative environment influence the training of scrub nurses?

Joanna Pupkiewicz, Alison Kitson, Josephine Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to extrapolate factors within the peri-operative environment which influence the acclimatisation of novice scrub nurses by exploring the lived experience of learning from both a novice and expert perspective. Insights to the cultural perioperative environment which have not previously been explored can be identified. Comparing how novices view their environment with how expert mentors see it is useful in order to plan targeted learning goals. Two groups were considered; one group consisting of 6 novice scrub nurses and the other consisting of 7 senior scrub nurses teaching novices in a large tertiary teaching public hospital in South Australia. Individual interviews and a focus group interview were digitally recorded and field notes were taken. A Heideggerian structural approach with a vanManen immersive aspect was taken for the data collection and Ricoeur's hermeneutic theory of interpretation was utilised for data analysis. Five emergent themes were isolated from the data: Challenges to proficiency, Fear, Expectations, Support and Adaptation. The study revealed that novice scrub learning is externally modulated by their perioperative cultural surroundings and the support of the senior staff. Senior scrub staff investment in educating novices was dictated by their perception of novice attitude.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian OR nurse education
  • Interpretive phenomenology
  • Nurses' perspective of learning


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