Rural Perioperative Team Training Program

Initiative Type
Education and Training
02 March 2019
Last updated
18 December 2019


The Rural Perioperative Team Training Program is an initiative of the Statewide Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Clinical Network (SWAPNet), sponsored by Clinical Excellence Queensland.

The scenario based education and training program consists of technical and non-technical skills with a focus on team communication.

The training scenarios (four 'core' based on the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) emergency response activities) and five 'elective' include can't intubate/can't oxygenate; cardiac arrest; management of haemorrhage; management of anaphylaxis; general anaesthetic for abdominal emergency surgery; management of sedation; local anaesthetic toxicity; management of malignant hyperthermia and trauma.

Training sites select four scenarios consisting of a minimum of two core scenarios.

The four training activities are delivered within the hospital environment at selected sites over a period of two days to ensure as many staff as possible are provided the opportunity to participate in training.

Selected scenarios are tailored to reflect practice at individual training sites.

The Rural Perioperative Team Training Faculty comprises anaesthetists, GP Rural Generalists, medical officers, surgeons, perioperative nurses, perioperative nurse educators, midwifery educators and technical support officers who are volunteering their time to deliver the training commencing February 2019.

Key dates
Feb 2018
Dec 2019
Implementation sites
Seventeen sites involving 22 facilities across Queensland expressed an interest in hosting the training program commencing March 2019.
Clinical Skills Development Service and Statewide Surgical Advisory Committee


The Rural Perioperative Team Training Program is a multifaceted, multidisciplinary team training program that has been developed to support clinicians to deliver and maintain safe, sustainable service delivery in rural and remote Queensland.


The Rural Perioperative Team Training Program aims to promote:

  • Improved patient safety / patient outcomes
  • Improved performance
  • Better understanding and appreciation of individual roles and responsibilities
  • Improved communication and culture
  • Improved staff satisfaction
  • Delivery of high quality healthcare


The Queensland Government’s commitment to improving access to safe and sustainable health services for residents of rural and remote communities is outlined in its ‘Future workforce strategy for better healthcare in Queensland 2013-2018’ which states:

Queensland’s capacity to deliver health services and achieve positive health outcomes for the population, both now and into the future, is largely contingent upon the health workforce. It is critical to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of the right staff, with the right mix, in the right place and the right time, and that the workforce is appropriately skilled to work collaboratively and efficiently to deliver patient focused care and create positive health patient journeys and experiences’.

The correlation between education and training and the delivery of safe, sustainable patient care is well recognised in the literature.

Simulation based multidisciplinary team training aims to improve team interaction (e.g. communication and coordination) in a systematic manner to improve patient safety/outcomes and reduce the risk of patient harm.

In rural and remote facilities, generalist anaesthetists provide anaesthesia, often practicing alone and working in unfamiliar environments (eg. maternity wards) with staff who are unfamiliar with perioperative practice.

Nurses in these locations are also required to be ‘generalists’ practicing safely across a broad range of skill sets and varied medical and surgical specialties with limited access to education and training. Achieving and maintaining compliance with Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetist (ANZCA) PS08 is a significant challenge.

Multidisciplinary team training for rural and remote Queensland was identified as a priority at the 2017 SWAPNET forum. It follows on from the delivery of standardised anaesthetic equipment to 30 rural facilities and the development of the Rural Generalist Anaesthetic Introductory Program in 2013/14 and the review and development of the Transition Support Program - Perioperative for Registered Nurses in 2017 and Enrolled Nursed in 2018.

Solutions Implemented

  • Training program developed based on nine scenarios identified as greatest need by rural sites across Queensland.
  • Multidisciplinary faculty established.
  • Seventeen training sites involving twenty-two facilities identified.
  • Clinical Skills Development Service debriefing training for faculty members delivered on 3 and 14 December 2018.
  • Train the Trainer training for faculty members was convened on 25 February 2019.
  • Training delivered at Proserpine Hospital on 28 February and 1 March 2019.
  • Training delivered at Bundaberg Hospital on 25 and 26 March 2019.
  • Training to be delivered at Longreach, Emerald, Biloela, Innisfail, Atherton, Kingaroy, Gladstone, Warwick, Roma, Charleville, Thursday Island, Cooktown, Mt Isa, Ingham and Ayr hospitals by 30 November 2019.

Evaluation and Results

Training commenced in 28 February 2019. Evaluation includes:

  • A customer satisfaction survey to identify program roll out performance and provide opportunities for ongoing delivery improvement.
  • Survey results to date are outstanding.

Lessons Learnt

  • Developing multidisciplinary education and training programs for clinicians is particularly complex.
  • Scanning the environment to identify current training programs and ensuring consistency of training content is vital.
  • Delivering training programs that are relevant and specifically designed to reflect functionality and practice at individual sites and in the local environments maximises opportunities for participation, learning, reflection and sustainability.



Share this

Key contact

Karen Hamilton
Principal Project Officer / SWAPNet Coordinator
Healthcare Improvement Unit
(07) 33289164