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Perioperative Care of the Older Adult


Older adults have an overall decline in physical function and undergo a myriad of changes in health that are age-related and independent of disease. Nurses must recognize the changes associated with aging and provide care that takes into consideration the unique needs of the elderly adult.

Advances in geriatric care and minimally invasive techniques have increased opportunities for elderly patients to safely undergo surgical and other invasive procedures. This has implications for perioperative nurses, who must recognize the changes associated with aging and understand that age alone puts elderly patients at risk for surgical complications.


This course provides guidance to the perioperative nurse in promoting optimal outcomes for the older adult through recognition of the physiological, cognitive/psychosocial and sociological changes associated with aging.

This course is divided into three modules.

  • Physiological Conditions

  • Physical Safety and Optimal Outcomes

  • Communication, Psychosocial, and Legal Aspects


  • Identify physiological conditions common in the older adult.

  • Identify measures to ensure the physical safety of the older adult.

  • Identify measures to promote an optimal outcome for the older adult surgical patient.

  • Identify ways to enhance communication with the older adult.

  • Identify psychosocial issues common in elderly patients.

  • Identify legal aspects of patient consent to surgery.

Course Requirements

To receive 1.9 contact hours for this course, you must achieve mastery of the content of all three modules and submit an evaluation as instructed after completing them. You can complete the modules in any order. This course contains 73 questions total.

Contact Hours

The 1.9 contact hours for this course will expire June 30, 2016.


AORN is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

AORN is Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13019.


This program is approved for 1.9 hours of AEU credit by BASC provider #0102.


AORN recognizes these activities as continuing education for registered nurses. This recognition does not imply that AORN or the American Nurses Credentialing Center approves or endorses products mentioned in the activity.

Guidelines for Perioperative Practice


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