British Columbia Institute of


NSPO 7450 - Perioperative Theory 3: The Nurse in the Circulating Role

Nursing Specialty Perioperative Part-time Studies Course

School of Health Sciences

Course Details

This course builds on the concepts and frameworks presented in prerequisite courses. Learners focus on how perioperative nurses provide care in the circulating role for patients undergoing common, less complex surgeries and anesthesia. Students learn how circulating nurses assess and prepare patients and families for anesthesia and surgery. Participants will continue learning about the key concepts of caring, safety, aseptic technique, and surgical conscience. Learners will consider how these concepts are used to maintain a safe and supportive perioperative environment for patients and team members. The course introduces theory that forms the basis for the development of circulating nurse skills in preparation for clinical learning. Clinical decision-making frameworks that guide practice are reviewed and applied to the circulating role. Participants will build on nursing knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and disease processes to deepen their understanding of perioperative nursing in the circulating role. Learners will examine ways of developing collaborative relationships with patients, colleagues, instructors, and perioperative team members. Participants will also consider how to employ effective leadership strategies, including advocacy and effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills during the perioperative period.


NSPO 7350





Winter 2020

Below is one offering of this course for the Winter 2020 term.

CRN 80071

Mon Jan 06 - Fri Mar 27 12 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Jan 06 - Mar 27 Online



Course Outline




  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. This course in online guided learning. Students will receive a course information email approximately 3 weeks prior to term start. Please contact Program Head at 604-451-7073 for approval.
  4. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.

This course offering is in progress. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

In Progress

Learning Outcomes

In this course, learners will have opportunities to use the processes of critical thinking, systematic enquiry, communication, collaboration, leadership and professionalism. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Use relevant, current ORNAC Standards of Care to explain activities in the circulating role: admitting and assessing patients; monitoring patients; assisting with anesthesia induction and emergence; positioning; performing skin preps; setting up the sterile environment; counting; and processing specimens.
  • Explain how to use a practice framework in the circulating role to assess and admit patients of different ages with actual and potential health problems.
  • Explain how circulating nurses employ a patient-centred plan of care to anticipate and address physiological and emotional risks of anesthesia for patients.
  • Identify risks and hazards associated with the perioperative environment and equipment for patients and team members.
  • Describe circulating nurse activities that minimize risks and hazards and promote patient and team safety.
  • Explain the potential emotional and physical impact of the perioperative environment on patients, families, and team members.
  • Describe communication techniques that promote effective perioperative team partnerships and collaboration.
  • Discuss perioperative documentation performed by circulating nurses.
  • Critically analyze independent and collaborative activities of circulating nurses that facilitate safe and ethical patient care within the perioperative team.
  • Explain how circulating nurses apply surgical conscience to promote patient safety and healing.
  • Explain how circulating nurses enact caring with patients and families.
  • Explain how circulating nurses advocate for patients and families.
  • Explain how circulating nurses use ways of knowing the individual (case, patient and person) to care for patients.
  • Communicate a plan for patient-centered care in the circulating role, using reflective critical-thinking skills and a clinical decision-making framework.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2017

Related Programs

NSPO 7450 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Health Sciences

  1. Perioperative Nursing Specialty
    Part-time/Distance & Online Learning   Advanced Certificate
  2. Specialty Nursing (Perioperative)
    Part-time/Distance & Online Learning   Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Books & Supplies

The BCIT bookstore carries textbooks, general reference books, software, and stationery. Please visit for more information.

Winter 2020

Books for Winter 2020 offerings of this course are available in the following BCIT online bookstores. Please choose the bookstore appropriate for the offering you are considering.

BCIT Distance & Online Learning Bookstore

If you are taking this course through either Distance Education or Online Learning, please purchase books for this course at the BCIT Distance & Online Learning Bookstore.

Image not available
Berry & Kohn's Operating Room Technique
Author Phillips
Publisher Mosby
Copyright 2017
Binding Paperback
ISBN 978-0-32339-926-5
Price $183.95

Image not available
Ornac Standards For Perioperative Rn Practice (2019)
Author Ornac
Copyright 2019
Binding Spiral
Price $182.95


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