VIEWPOINT Thoughts and reflections on issues of interest to perioperative practitioners KEYWORDS Knowledge / Dissemination / Perioperative care Provenance and Peer review: Invited contribution; Not peer reviewed; Accepted for publication April 2013.

Why are perioperative practitioners reluctant to publish? As perioperative practitioners, the professional obligation to continually update our knowledge so the care we provide is safe and effective is ever present. Advancing technology, overstretched resources and an ever changing perioperative environment challenge our understanding of the perioperative setting on a daily basis. Never has the need for educated and informed perioperative practitioners been required more than now in order to help make the decisions we need to address these challenges. Most of you will have undertaken some form of professional study to enhance your knowledge, or even undertaken a piece of research that helped obtain new knowledge on a topic related to perioperative care. Some of you will be involved in work-based learning by carrying out clinical audit to help shape the service you provide. Alternatively, you may be unaware of the knowledge you acquire as you take time to reflect upon an episode of patient care. Sharing this newfound information not only helps inform both practice and policy in the modern perioperative setting, but is also an integral part of our professional obligation to disseminate any new knowledge that relates to perioperative care. In order to do this we need to make the evidence accessible to others. There are a number of ways this can be achieved, including presenting at regional and national meetings or through the publication of a manuscript in a healthcare journal. Oerman & Hay (2010), however, suggest that healthcare professionals are reluctant to publish their work. Lack of time, fear of rejection and the unwillingness of the perioperative practitioner to assume the unfamiliar role of author are common reasons for the failure of practitioners to turn the knowledge and evidence they acquire into a publishable document. Uncertainty over the submission process can also deter would-be authors. The following steps may help you get your own work published. Before you start, know your target audience. Take for example this journal, 214

the Journal of Perioperative Practice. Its aim is to promote safe and effective standards of perioperative care and it is read by practitioners who work in varying fields of perioperative practice. Hence manuscripts that relate to practice in the operating theatre, recovery, anaesthetics and surgical wards within any specialty will be welcomed for submission along with those covering aspects of pre-admission, discharge, endoscopy and support services including decontamination. Issues surrounding perioperative education, management, leadership and innovation are also encouraged. In fact, manuscripts are welcomed on any aspect of perioperative care written in the style of a case study, literature review, reflective piece, research paper or audit. Alternatively, perhaps you have an original viewpoint on a particular issue? Choosing a topical subject or an issue that has had little exposure is more likely to be published so read through back copies of the journal; has your topic been explored before? Do your findings bring something new to the perioperative arena? Before submission, structure your manuscript by using headings and subheadings such as introduction, main themes and, if applicable, your findings. Don’t forget to include a succinct conclusion that summarises your work. Take time to read through the text – it must have correct grammar usage if it is to be reliable and noteworthy. Ask a trusted colleague to read through it too. Have you covered pertinent and up-todate issues that relate to your topic? Are references recent or of historical value? To ensure that your work is written in the correct format for submission, follow the editorial guidelines printed at the end of this journal - this will ultimately save you time in preparing your manuscript.

may require a few additional changes or necessitate a rewrite. Either way, reviewers will offer constructive advice on how this can be achieved. Rejection is often disappointing and can deter authors from resubmitting but even successful authors have had work rejected at some point in their career. So don’t let this discourage you. Turning an academic essay or the evidence obtained from clinical work into a manuscript that is suitable for submission has a learning curve all of its own but it is extremely satisfying when you see your article in print. More importantly the information you have may help fill a gap in knowledge and influence the future of perioperative care. Whatever your role, as a perioperative practitioner you have a professional duty to pass on your knowledge to other perioperative practitioners. Publishing an article based on the evidence you have acquired is the gold standard by which this can be achieved. n Julie Quick MSc, NMP, SCP, RGN Surgical Care Practitioner, Theatres, Manor Hospital, Walsall

Reference Oerman MH, Hay JC 2010 Writing for Publication in Nursing 2nd Edition New York: Springer Publishing Company

After submission, prepare for additional work. Each manuscript is reviewed by the editor and, if suitable, is double-blind peer-reviewed by members of the review panel who are experts in their own field of perioperative practice. Your manuscript October 2013 / Volume 23 / Issue 10 / ISSN 1750-4589

Disclaimer The views expressed in articles published by the Association for Perioperative Practice are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the policy, opinions or beliefs of AfPP. Manuscripts submitted to the editor for consideration must be the original work of the author(s). © 2013 The Association for Perioperative Practice All legal and moral rights reserved.

The Association for Perioperative Practice Daisy Ayris House 42 Freemans Way Harrogate HG3 1DH United Kingdom Email: [email protected] Telephone: 01423 881300 Fax: 01423 880997

Why are perioperative practitioners reluctant to publish?

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