Providing patients with quality care in region

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Operating nurses throughout Europe will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Perioperative Nursing Day (PND) on February 15, a day used to promote the work undertaken by operating room nurses and to help demystify the events that happen behind the operating doors.

Algarve resident Margaret Brett, a former nurse who helped found the European Operating Room Nurses Association (EORNA), the body behind PND, has been working with the Portuguese operating room nurses association (AESOP) as a volunteer helping to promote the work of operating room nurses in Portugal.

“I started my career as a basic general nurse but then went on to specialise in perioperative nursing. My work then moved on to the practical teaching of nurses in London before becoming a chairman of the NHS Trust in the South of England,” said Margaret Brett.

Although Margaret came to the Algarve to retire six years ago, her work with EORNA as a former president of the association has meant that she had many connections with AESOP, as Portugal was one of the five countries to initially join the association and, she now works as a volunteer for AESOP.

There are now 24 member countries of EORNA, which became formalised in Copenhagen in 1992 and is recognised throughout the world by both medical and nursing staff. 

“Members of EORNA have helped to create a minimum standard for operating nurses which has been so successful it is now implemented in 20 of the member countries now. This has been a great development for operating nurses and the level of care they are able to provide,” said Margaret Brett.

Faro event

To celebrate PND in Portugal, an event is planned to be held in Faro in early May.  Last year, Lisbon Red Cross tents were used to house field operating rooms where members of the public were able to come and handle equipment, clothing and instruments.

There were also opportunities to ask questions to the nurses while children could dress up and apply dressings.

Margaret hopes that the event in Faro will see similar activities taking place to help people understand exactly what happens in an operating theatre and the work the nurses do.

Looking to the future of raising the profile of the work done by operating room nurses, Portugal has successfully won the bid to host the sixth EORNA congress, a meeting that will see more than 2,500 international delegates meeting in Lisbon in April 2012. 

For further information about EORNA, please visit (available in English).