An overview of the principles of preoperative care
Intended for healthcare professionals

An overview of the principles of preoperative care

Cathy Liddle Senior lecturer in adult nursing, Birmingham City University, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enable you to adopt a holistic approach to the care of patients due to undergo surgery

  • To understand which patients are at increased risk of perioperative and postoperative complications

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

There has been an increase in the number of patients requiring surgery who also have complex medical needs. Factors such as being overweight, the presence of significant comorbidities and an ageing population increase the risks associated with surgical procedures for these individuals. As a result, nurses involved in assessing patients and providing preoperative care require knowledge and understanding of the latest evidence in this area to optimise patient care and outcomes following surgery. This article suggests that optimal outcomes can be achieved by preparing patients for surgery in a holistic manner. It also discusses the role of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programmes.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11170


Liddle C (2018) An overview of the principles of preoperative care. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11170

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 24 August 2018

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now