Be an Advocate for Perioperative Nurse Week

Publish Date: October 5, 2016

Perioperative Nurse Week, which will be celebrated November 6-12 this year, is an annual reminder to recognize and honor perioperative nurses for their important role and commitment to safe patient care. It also represents an opportunity to inform community members and local and state representatives about the critical role of perioperative nurses and their contributions to patient safety. AORN encourages members to send a letter to elected officials or local newspaper editors to inform them about Perioperative Nurse Week and explain how perioperative nurses provide specialized nursing care to surgical patients before, during, and after surgery.

How to Write a Letter

AORN has created pre-written letters, which can be sent to elected officials and local newspaper editors that explain perioperative nurses’ role among the surgical team and their responsibilities to provide care for patients who undergo invasive surgical procedures and serve as their advocate while they may be powerless to make their own decisions. The letter to legislators also encourages policy makers to integrate patient safety considerations into health care policy decisions. Individuals can personalize the letter however they see fit, but ultimately, they can use it as a mechanism to establish a personal relationship with elected officials who influence health care policies and to become a voice for patient safety.

How to Obtain a Proclamation

In addition to letter writing, individuals can ask elected city or state officials for a proclamation, which is a public or official announcement, to recognize Perioperative Nurse Week. AORN Government Affairs is already working with state legislative coordinators to request Perioperative Nurse Week proclamations from governors and other elected officials, so individuals who would like to participate in obtaining a proclamation should first speak with their state legislative coordinator or AORN Government Affairs to coordinate efforts. For more information, including examples of past proclamations and more specific instructions for obtaining a proclamation, visit the Perioperative Nurse Week web page. The AORN Government Affairs Facebook page will feature this year’s proclamations and members’ letters to the editor.