CCT in Anaesthetics - Core Level Training

Published: 12/08/2019

Postoperative and recovery room care

Learning outcomes:

  • To manage the recovery of patients from general anaesthesia
  • To describe the organisation and requirements of a safe recovery room
  • To identify and manage common postoperative complications in patients with a variety of co-morbidities
  • To manage postoperative pain and nausea and vomiting
  • To manage postoperative fluid therapy
  • Safely manage emergence from anaesthesia and extubation
  • Shows awareness of common immediate postoperative complications and how to manage them
  • Prescribes appropriate postoperative fluid and analgesic regimes
  • Assess and treats PONV


Competence Description Assessment Methods GMP
PO_BK_01 Lists the equipment required in the recovery unit A,C,E 1
PO_BK_02 Lists the types of monitoring and the appropriate frequency of observations required for patients having undergone different types of surgery A,C,E 1
PO_BK_03 Describes the care of an unconscious patient in the recovery room, including safe positioning A,C,D,E 1,2

In respect of restoring spontaneous respiration and maintaining the airway at the end of surgery:

  • Explains how to remove the tracheal tube and describes the associated problems and complications
  • Recalls/describes how to manage laryngospasm at extubation
  • Recalls/lists the reasons why the patient may not breathe adequately at the end of surgery
  • Recalls/identifies how to distinguish between the possible causes of apnoea
  • Lists the possible causes of postoperative cyanosis
  • Describes how to evaluate neuro-muscular block with the nerve stimulator
A,C,E 1

With respect to oxygen therapy:

  • Lists its indications
  • Lists the techniques for oxygen therapy and describes the performance characteristics of available devices
  • Recalls/explains the causes and management of stridor
A,C,E 1,2
PO_BK_06 Outlines/recalls the principles of appropriate postoperative fluid regimes including volumes, types of fluids and monitoring of fluid balance including indications for urethral catheterisation A,C,E 1

In respect of postoperative pain:

  • Describes how to assess the severity of acute pain
  • Describes the ‘analgesic ladder’
  • Discusses how emotions contribute to pain
  • Identifies appropriate postoperative analgesic regimes including types of drugs and doses
  • Explains how to manage ‘rescue analgesia’ for the patient with severe pain
  • Lists the complications of analgesic drugs
A,C,E 1

In respect of PONV:

  • Recognises the impact of PONV
  • Lists the factors that predispose to PONV
  • Describes the basic pharmacology of anti-emetic drugs
  • Describes appropriate regimes for prevention and treatment of PONV
A,C,E 1
PO_BK_09 Describes the possible causes and management of postoperative confusion A,C,E 1
PO_BK_10 Describes the causes and management of postoperative hypotension and hypertension A,C,E 1
PO_BK_11 Identifies premorbid disease states that may require patients to have higher (level 2 or 3) levels of care in the postoperative period. A,C,E 1,2
PO_BK_12 Describes the prevention, diagnosis and management of postoperative pulmonary atelectasis A,C,E 1
PO_BK_13 Lists the appropriate discharge criteria for patients leaving the recovery room and day stay patients A,C,E 1
PO_BK_14 Explains the importance of following up patients in the ward after surgery A,C,E 1,2,3


Competence Description Assessment Methods GMP

Performs safe tracheal extubation

A,D 1

Evaluates neuromuscular blockade using a nerve stimulator

A,D 1,2

Transfers an unconscious patient from the operating theatre to the recovery room

A,C,D 1,2


Competence Description Assessment Methods GMP
PO_BS_04 Turns a patient into the recovery position A,D 1
PO_BS_05 Makes a clear handover to recovery staff of perioperative management and the postoperative plan A,D,M 1,3
PO_BS_06 Prescribes appropriate postoperative fluid regimes A,C 1
PO_BS_07 Assesses postoperative pain and prescribes appropriate postoperative analgesia A,C,D 1,3
PO_BS_08 Manages postoperative nausea and vomiting A,C 1
PO_BS_09 Assesses postoperative confusion A,C 1
PO_BS_10 Recognises when discharge criteria have been met for patients going home or to the ward A,C,D 1,2,3
PO_BS_11 Undertakes follow-up visits to patients after surgery on the ward A,C,D 1