Recently added FAQs

QUESTION:

What is the definition of 'shall' in the context of the standards?

ANSWER:

Let’s start with our operational definitions of ‘ACORN standard’ and ‘ACORN guideline’.  We define a standard as 'minimum requirements for best practice … generally accepted principles of patient care …can be modified only under unusual circumstances, which must be justified and documented'. We define a guideline as 'recommendations that assist in decision making … may be adopted, modified or rejected as per local need and constraints … not intended to replace local policy'.

Generally speaking, 'shall' is used when a person or entity has a duty to perform a certain act. However, in a legal sense these days, 'shall' and 'must' are virtually identical in meaning, although 'shall' is usually deemed to be the more formal of the two. When reading and interpreting the ACORN Standards, it may help to replace (in your head) the word 'shall' with 'has a duty to'. You may have noticed that in reviewed and updated standards the term 'has a duty to' is being adopted. 

The ACORN Standards for Perioperative Nursing in Australia is developed through rigorous review of the best available research and other evidence in Australia and abroad. Individual standards, guidelines and position statements are best practice at the time of revision. Please refer to the revision history at the end of each individual document for the last revision date. Our Standards query team can direct you to the relevant standard, guideline or position statement for reference; however, the application of the Standards involves many factors that will be individual to the context and facility in which you work. We hope this response provides some guidance for your query. For further information please visit our website at https://www.acorn.org.au/ and read more about the ACORN Standards for Perioperative Nursing in Australia and how you or your facility can purchase a copy. Please feel free to contact ACORN again should you or your colleagues have further queries in the future.





QUESTION:

I am wondering what the recommendations are for the perioperative around the theatre complex for visitors/staff that must attend a theatre. I was of the understanding that perioperative attire was to be worn around the entire complex not just within anesthetic induction / operating theatre. What is the standard surrounding the 'visitor' entry into theatre and what standards apply? Where does this border begin and end within the theatre complex?

ANSWER:

Reading the standard 'Visitors to the perioperative environment' in conjunction with 'Management of the perioperative environment' will assist to clarify the situation in regard to visitors for you. The standard 'Perioperative attire' addresses the wearing of theatre apparel within the perioperative unit. Standard statement 4 in 'Infection prevention'  clearly stresses the importance of regulating the perioperative environment, minimising the introduction of microorganisms and maintaining zone conformity. Move forward to the planning and design standard, Standard statement 4, which discusses zones, unrestricted, semi-restricted and restricted areas, as well as the wearing of perioperative/surgical attire.



QUESTION:

Could you please clarify the standards for wearing of face masks in the operating room?

ANSWER:

The answer to your query can be found in the standard 'Perioperative attire'. Please read through the references, as this will further clarify the wearing of masks for you.



QUESTION:

No policies at my current place of work are in place regarding the cleaning and disinfection of lead gowns. The lead aprons are being worn daily and are not currently being cleaned. What are the infection control standards relating to lead gowns? Are there any standards or guidelines for the cleaning of shared lead gowns for use in theatre?

BRIEF ANSWER:

A general overview on this topic is provided in ACORN standards ‘Infection prevention’ and ‘Environmental management’. 

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QUESTION:

I was just wondering if you could please direct me to what the standards are for a recovery room to run. That is, what qualifications and ratio of nurses to bays/theatres.

BRIEF ANSWER:

ACORN standard 'Staffing requirements' provides guidance for managers relating to adequate staffing and skill mix to ensure safe and effective perioperative care.

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