The Australian College of Operating Room Nurses (ACORN) represents perioperative nurses throughout Australia with membership to the College through local State and Territory perioperative associations. ACORN represents the professional interests of perioperative nurses working in the specialty area of perioperative services.

ACORN's mission is to promote excellence in perioperative nursing care. Therefore, the College places great value on the Standards of Practice for Perioperative Nursing, seeing them as one of the most important objectives achieved by the College. The ACORN Standards are referenced, reflecting evidence-based practice, with the aim of contributing to the highest standard of patient care and professional competence in the perioperative environment. The ACORN Standards provide professional guidelines and specific recommended standards of practice and role expectations. They provide a valuable resource for perioperative nurses and other professionals involved with the care of patients in the perioperative environment.

Every two years the ACORN Standards for Perioperative Nursing are researched and reviewed to support contemporary evidenced-based practice. The ACORN Standards are highly respected and are utilised by accreditation authorities with the standards having been cited within the Australian Law Courts in several medico legal cases. It is incumbent on all perioperative nurses to have an understanding of the standards. The standards are available for purchase from ACORN. Please visit the ACORN website and order a copy.

The ACORN standards provide a minimum standard of practice for perioperative nurses, and requirements for visitors and healthcare facilities, including medical company representatives (MCRs). Relevant standards for MCRs are:

Staff and Patient Safety

  • Management of Accountable Items Used During Surgery/Procedures in the Perioperative Environment

Asepsis and Clinical Care

  • Aseptic Technique
  • Infection Prevention
  • Perioperative Attire

Management and Staffing

  • Visitors to the Perioperative Environment.

Infection Prevention

  • Handwashing regimes

To maintain approval of the training through ACORN, MTAA reviews and updates the two training modules every two years. This aligns with the release of the revised standards. As a result, MCRs must be re-accredited every two years in order to maintain a current ID card. For example, MCRs completing the 2016-2017 training program launched in August 2016 will have their MTAA ID card expire at the end of October 2018.

View our Training Module Library

Images are from MTAA Introduction to Operating Theatre Protocols.