Meet the perioperative team at PCH

Jaime Bowler, Kim Baker and Stephanie Broad
Jaime Bowler, Kim Baker and Stephanie Broad from the Perioperative team at PCH
October 4, 2021

Happy Perioperative Nurses Week 2021!

Perioperative nurses care for patients before, during and after surgery or an interventional procedure and perform a range of specialised roles including but not limited to:

  • anaesthetic nurse
  • circulating nurse (scout)
  • instrument nurse (scrub)
  • Post Anaesthesia Care Unit nurse (recovery)
  • staff development nurse.

With a specialised skill set and knowledge in airway and pain management, our perioperative nurses work in high pressure and challenging situations and are an integral part of the PCH surgical team.

They provide reassurance on the day of surgery to our vulnerable patients and parents, on what can be the most stressful time in their lives. They are the last faces our kids see before falling asleep and the first ones they see when waking up.

Meet the team

Stephanie Broad - Nurse Manager, Theatres

How long have you been a nurse for? 

I began hospital-based training at Fremantle Hospital in 1971. I then worked in Derby Hospital, Morawa and Moora District hospitals before starting at PMH. I was mustering sheep in Mingenew when the position at PMH was advertised.

What drew you to the area of perioperative nursing and what do you love about your role? 

I always wanted to work in theatres, having had a very good exposure to theatre nursing during my training at Fremantle Hospital. 

How has the role of perioperative nurse changed since you began your career? 

There have been many changes over the years with one of the major ones I feel, was the introduction of night duty for theatre nurses in 2011.

Sterilisation practices have also changed considerably. In my early days at PMH we used to store the instruments on glass shelves in a cupboard. You had to be early to get the best instruments. They were all put into a large kidney dish and sterilised just before you set up for a case. The old department only had three operating rooms. From 2017 onwards, all instruments are tracked electronically to the patient. 

In the late 1990s laparoscopic or keyhole surgery was a major innovation and changed the way some surgery was managed. We now do this of type of surgery every day at PCH. 

Laser surgery was introduced at PMH in the early 1980s with ENT being the only specialty to use the equipment. At PCH we now have 12 lasers that are used across many specialties. 

In October 1999, electronic capture of the patient journey was introduced via the Theatre Management System (TMS). The TMS provides an amazing amount of data and is now in most public hospital operating theatres.

Career highlight?

There have been many, but a recent one for me was managing the transfer of all the theatre equipment and instruments from PMH to PCH. One year I was invited to go on the Variety Club Bash. It was a lot of fun representing the hospital at the rural communities as we made our way to Mt Augustus and back. 

What inspires you?

The continued advances in surgery, particular paediatric surgery. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you (outside interests/achievements etc.)

I won a number of power boat time trials on the Swan River a few years ago. I skippered and my husband navigated.

Kim Baker - Staff Development and Clinical Nurse

Includes iMRI, Interventional Radiology and the Cardiac Catheter Lab

How long have you been a nurse for?

I've been nursing for 19 years. Mostly at PMH and PCH but I also spent three years nursing in Kalgoorlie.

What drew you to the area of perioperative nursing and what do you love about your role?

I am a Medical imaging nurse so my role hasn’t always involved as much perioperative work as it does today. Over the last few years our role has evolved to include interventional Radiology and Neurointerventional Radiology cases which we have all embraced.

What I love about my role is the diversity of work we do, the patients and families we see and the great people I work with. I get to work with a great multidisciplinary team who all genuinely care about their patients.

Career highlight?

The move to PCH and being actively involved in setting up the Medical Imaging Service at PCH and our increased collaboration with theatres.

What inspires you? 

The possibility of cake in the tearoom, but really being there for patients and families through their surgical journey which often involves more than one procedure.

Seeing a parent’s smile of relief when they hold their child again or see an improvement after a procedure.

Just knowing we can make a difference. 

Tell us something we don’t know about you (outside interests/achievements etc) 

I am a very lucky mum to two gorgeous kids of my own and we all love camping, kayaking and running, although for me it's mostly running after them. 

What does an average day look like (in a few sentences)?

A day in the life of a Medical Imaging nurse involves wearing lead gowns in addition to other PPE, standing on your feet a fair bit while wrangling some teeny tiny slippery catheters and wires in dull light, all while maintaining a sterile field. At the end of the day thanks to our great team it’s pretty good fun and very rewarding. 

Jaime Bowler - Clinical Nurse Coordinator

How long have you been a nurse for?

I’ve been a nurse for 20 years, most of that time at PMH and PCH except for a six month stint at KEMH.

What drew you to the area of perioperative nursing and what do you love about your role? 

In my early days as a registered nurse I decided to head back to university to study teaching. I kept working as a casual nurse at PMH during this time and was regularly allocated to work in Theatres.

I quickly developed a strong interest in perioperative nursing and this ended my short career as a teacher. I love the challenges that my current role provides, as no two days are ever the same. I love that I get to work with other positive and happy people and am able to provide great care to lots of children and their families. 

What is your career highlight?

I was fortunate to be able to work the last day at PMH before it closed...and I also worked the first Theatre list at PCH. 

What inspires you?

Helping kids get better and seeing the difference it makes to them and their families lives.

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I have completed nine solo Rottnest Channel Swim crossings (after swearing to never do another crossing following the first one) and have been lucky enough to win four of them.

What does a typical day look like?

Coffee/snacks, sorting staffing numbers, allocating appropriate nurses to patients, ensuring the PACU area is safe and ready to receive up to 85 patients.

Education, problem solving, pain management, coffee/snacks, airway management, allocation of staff meal breaks, liaising with theatre managers/hospital managers and theatre coordinators/ward staff/volunteers/orderlies/anaesthetists and surgeons.