Intended for healthcare professionals
RCNi interactive learning

Practical skills

How to provide preoperative care to patients

Author: Jacqueline Johnstone

Duration: 1 hour Last updated: 2024 Quality Assurance: Peer-reviewed Level: Students, Qualified nurses Language: English

Course description

This practical module will help you to familiarise yourself with various preoperative tests and clinical assessments. It will improve your understanding of the preoperative information that should be communicated to patients, family members and/or carers.

Learning aims and intended outcomes

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand your role as a nurse in pre- and post-operative care.
  • Identify the essential elements of preoperative care required to ensure patient safety.
  • Understand the indications for, and effects of, any preoperative medicines.
  • Provide preoperative information to the patient, family members and carers at a level appropriate to their cognitive and language abilities.
  • Ensure the patient understands any preoperative tests and procedures required.


  • What do you know?
  • Preparation and equipment
  • Procedure
  • Evidence base
  • What have you learned?
  • Reflective practice


Jacqueline Johnstone
Lecturer, education, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to


  • What do you know?
  • Preparation and equipment
  • Procedure
  • Evidence base
  • What have you learned?
  • Reflective practice

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