First in Japan: Training Curriculum for PeriAnesthesia Nurses and their Clinical Practice


      Problem Definition

      Japan is dealing with a super-ageing society found nowhere else in the world. This problem is provoking other complex issues such as aggravation of patients’ condition, and a shortage of anesthesiologists leading to overwork.

      Strategies to Address the Problem

      As a solution, our hospital established the PeriAnesthesia Nurse (PAN) for the first time in Japan. Unlike the United States and other developed countries in Europe, Japan did not have a license for nurses specialized in anesthesia. Thus, in collaboration with a graduate school of nursing, our hospital started a perianesthesia nursing course within the advanced practice nurse's training curriculum in 2010. At the graduate school, students take specialized lectures on anesthesia with a curriculum that focuses on risk management. Upon graduation, they work together with anesthesiologists in the department of anesthesiology and perform anesthesia-related tasks under the medical specialist's supervision. Their main duties include preoperative anesthesiology outpatient, surgical anesthesia, acute pain service (APS) for post-operative periods, and labor analgesia, and they collaborate with various specialists inside and outside of the operating room.

      Evaluation and Results

      Outcomes of patient care after the introduction of PAN have been observed. PAN provides persuasive explanations and guidance seamlessly to the patients by taking advantage of their experience in anesthesia and the scientific thinking they've acquired in graduate school. This paper reports on the training and clinical practice of perianesthesia nurses in Japan as a measure to improve the quality of perioperative medical care as well as the safety of patients.


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