Nurses around a patient in OR-The first perioperative training cohort, from left to right: Diana Thorogood, Dara Konjevic, Melissa Mitchell (on bed), Sara Boychuk, Maria Ingram (Periop Program CNE), Sat Sandhu, Amanda Sawatzky. Photographer: Jie Xu
Written by Pearl Leung, Senior Consultant, Strategic Transformation

Fraser Health’s perioperative training course is available for registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Learn how you can become a specialty operating room nurse in just 10 months.

Gone are the days when assisting in an operating room meant simply handing over scalpels.

Today’s operating room is an incredibly high-tech fast-paced environment requiring surgical nurses with sophisticated training and advanced knowledge of complex procedures.

These specially-trained nurses are in high-demand and Fraser Health is helping current registered nurse employees upgrade their skills to they can advance their careers in the operating room.

Interested in learning more about this specialty nursing training? Nurses will begin training at four of our facilities on April 30. To learn more or apply, contact Jie Xu at or Maria Ingram at

Last November, Fraser Health began to offer in-house perioperative nurse training for the first time at Royal Columbian and Eagle Ridge Hospitals, to complement current off-site BCIT and Grand Prairie Regional College specialty nurse training programs. The program is based on the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Periop 101™ training, which is used at more than 2,500 health facilities across North America.

Now, the program is ready to intake its second group of registered nurses at Royal Columbian, Eagle Ridge and Surrey Memorial Hospitals and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. This spring group is accepting registered nurses only; however, future groups will accept licensed practical nurses as well, and they are encouraged to apply for future openings.

Looking to take her nursing career to the next level, Licensed Practical Nurse Amanda Sawatzky was one of the first employees to take the training. “I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of a blended course where we had theory mixed with clinical, hands-on experience,” the Mission resident said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the Royal Columbian Hospital OR team full-time.”

Registered nurse Dara Konjevic encourages others to consider joining the program to fast-track their career development.

“The in-house perioperative program is a great opportunity for nurses who want to thrive in a complex and exciting work environment,” Konjevic said.

“The AORN program is definitely a steep learning curve, as with all nursing specialties,” said Registered Nurse Diana Thorogood. “But it has given me a strong foundation to build on as we now start our service-specific orientation within the OR.”

“As clinical nurse educator for the program, we have learned invaluable experience to help us with the second group,” said Jie Xu, clinical nurse educator of the in-house perioperative nurse training program at Royal Columbian Hospital.

“It has been very rewarding,” agreed fellow program educator and clinical nurse educator Maria Ingram. “We’re very proud of the perioperative nurses the students are becoming.”

comments powered by Disqus