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When vaccines became available earlier this year, there was a grain of hope visible at the end of the longest, darkest tunnel that we entered in 2020.   COVID rates plummeted from late spring into early summer. Just in time to embark not only on delayed vacations and seeing loved ones face to face, but the conference circuit was ready to get back to business in person. Dates were put on the calendar and flights were booked.  Then Delta happened.  AORN’s Global Surgical Conference and Expo, at the time set to take place in Orange County, FL was canceled and turned virtual. Many other conferences followed suit, highly dependent on what was happening locally.   Thrown into a time warp back to the confusing days of early 2020, conference organizations had calls to...

Keeping their cool in a sea of variability is an essential skill that can give a Director of Surgical Services with a military background an edge. They also bring some of the structure and team-building expertise learned in the armed forces to help improve organizational culture and staff morale.   These changes don’t just make people feel better, they can impact volume growth, too. According to a 2019 study conducted by Grant Thorton and Oxford Economics, companies with a genuine sense of community, collaboration, and high employee engagement had a stronger financial performance.  So, the next time you are in the market for a director, and you see...

Volume growth in Surgical Services is particularly challenging because it must be balanced against the quality of patient care. An interim director has a small window—typically 3-6 months—to make a significant difference. They must have a few aces up their sleeve ready to go the moment they step into the OR.   Below, our Road Warriors for 2021 offer their first-line tactics to increase volume and make an impact within their brief tenures.   Karen Sulzman, BSN, MSN, RN    “The important thing with volume growth is making sure that surgeons know you’re going to get their patients in and out of the OR on time. In my current facility, we had to figure out how to move patients along the...

During the height of the pandemic last year, Amy Wylder, Director of Surgical Services at Jersey Community Hospital in Illinois, got some bad news while her staff was preparing for a case. The surgical sales representative due in the operating room to oversee the use of their medical device was running late. Soon it became clear that they would not make it on time.   “I was like, great. Normally, we would need to cancel the case. Then I thought, well, can we just FaceTime him?” said Wylder. “The only challenge we had was holding the iPhone in a way so that they could see into the wound without contaminating the sterile field. But we did it.”  And they did it again when another sales...

  5 Key Points Have a point person who will gather the team together and take the lead on discussing performance standards and provide guidance on what to expect during the survey process.  Before the real survey, conduct a mock survey to reveal deficiencies and implement improvements. Coach and prepare your staff through in-services, regular rounding, and questions of the day during morning huddles.  Be congenial and honest. Don’t argue about findings; offer additional information or use the formal appeal process. Main areas of survey focus include infection prevention, universal protocol, medication management, Point-of-care testing, and patient safety.   Full Conversation How long have you been a surveyor? Nine years....

   5 Key Points Don’t combine circulator and educator roles. Be committed to a full-time educator position The ideal educator should have 7 or more years of clinical experience in the operating room, and be passionate about guiding the next generation of nurses Educators can grow volume by opening up PM shifts with newly trained perioperative nurses providing additional opportunity for elective case volumes Your educator should take a perioperative course through the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Plan 3-6 months for an Interim OR Educator to bring the program on-line   Full Conversation Below When a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) sees a...

   5 Key Points Follow your state’s guidelines on safety, but ideally, test a prospective surgical patient for COVID twice a day for negative results for seven straight days Block scheduling needs to be reconsidered as Block recommendations.  Communicate this with your surgeons Assume two months for each month surgeries were down in order to get through the backlog The two types of surgeries that may not come back due to loss of insurance and deductibles are GI and EGD. Don’t staff-up fully right away. A return to full volume may be slower than you think. Create a schedule tying staff...

This show is supported and produced by Whitman Partners. This is a narrative inquiry project designed to share frontline stories and wisdom from experienced peri-operative leaders engaged in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our presenter is Dr. Margaret Below, she is an experienced Peri-operative Nurse Director, Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner, and creator of The Vital Self; a virtual healing space dedicated to holistic wellness coaching. https://thevitalself.com/ Dr. Below is joined by Ruth Diaz. Ruth is a nurse leader with decades of expertise in both financial logistics and hospital operations. She has clinical nursing knowledge in addition to her leadership nursing roles in long...

This show is supported and produced by Whitman Partners. This is a narrative inquiry project designed to share frontline stories and wisdom from experienced peri-operative leaders engaged in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our presenter is Dr. Margaret Below, she is an experienced Peri-operative Nurse Director, Mind-Body Medicine Practitioner, and creator of The Vital Self; a virtual healing space dedicated to holistic wellness coaching. https://thevitalself.com/ Dr. Below is joined by Dr. Charlene Wade. Charlene, fondly known as Charlie is an experienced nurse leader and perioperative educator. Charlie's career spans decades of leadership serving in several types of organizations including academic facilities, level...

Your resume should always reflect your most recent, relevant and most valuable skills. Now is agreat time to think about your recent accomplishments and add them to your resume. You neverknow when the next awesome job opportunity will arise.   Tips to Consider Write concise explanations of your past experience which is 15 years or older. Remove experience that is not relevant. Make your experience section easy to skim. Long paragraphs, too many bullets can be problematic. It’s best to alter between short paragraphs and bullet lists. In your experience section, be sure to list the attributes of the facilityyou worked at,...