Welcome to Boston and welcome to the Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2017.
As president of AORN, I selected a conference theme that, I believe, tells the story of perioperative nurses. It is “The Power of You.” While you are here, I hope you will look for ways to find your power. You’ll find it in education sessions that will strengthen your clinical practice and in your engagement with session leaders and facilitators. You’ll find power in the new connections you’ll make with perioperative nurses who’ve traveled from around the world to attend. You’ll find it, too, as you walk the exhibit hall and spend meaningful time talking with representatives who are eager to answer your questions about new products and services that can improve safety and OR efficiency.
You’ll also rediscover the wonderful power that is within you. It is in your commitment to be here and commitment to learning all that’s important to providing excellent care to your patients. Your power is in your desire and passion to advance your clinical knowledge. It is in the power of your open minds that you bring to the conference experience that will reinvigorate your passion for our profession.
When the conference concludes, you’ll return to your workplace with an all new capacity for success. I congratulate you on setting this time aside for yourself, your patients, and your practice.
With warmest wishes,
Martha Stratton, MSN, MHSA, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC
First Forum Kicks Off Conference Business
AORN President Martha Stratton kicked off the business meetings of the association Saturday afternoon by welcoming members to Boston. She then announced the Forum was providing continuing education credit this year. The Forum’s first speaker, Ruth Shumaker, co-chair of the Task Force on Processes Utilized in AORN Elections, reported on the task force’s work over the past year. Shumaker announced the goal of increasing overall voter turnout. The task force recommended the entire process for the 2018 elections be virtual and available to all members in advance of Expo. On the recommendation of the task force, the NLDC will review candidates’ campaigning rules.
From the floor, members expressed a desire to see a Candidates Q & A virtually as well as live at Expo to help non-attendees and attendees understand the candidates’ points of view prior to casting their votes. Shumaker assured members that the NLDC would take these concerns into consideration as plans for 2018 are finalized.
Next, Anne Fairchild, chair of the bylaws committee, spoke to this year’s proposed bylaws amendments.
The first proposed amendment would require that all candidates for office, board of directors, and NLDC hold a current CNOR certification. A few members spoke to the value of other certifications such as CSSM and CSN-CP which do not have CNOR as a pre-requisite but relate closely to perioperative nursing and leadership. Jim Stobinski, president of the Competency and Credentialing Institute (CCI), asked the membership body to please consider amending the language to also allow for a related accredited perioperative nursing certification to meet the service requirement. CCI is seeing an increase in the number of CNS – CP and CSSM certifications, not all of whom have CNOR.
Another member spoke in support of the CNOR requirement and noted that she may also bring a motion that would ask the board to look at whether a BSN should also be required for elected service with AORN over the next year.
The second proposed amendment would restore the NLDC to a more traditional nominating committee, allowing the committee to focus primarily on candidate selection by removing the committee’s leadership development responsibilities.
These proposed bylaws changes, and any amendments to the changes, will be voted on by members during the Second House of Delegates on Wednesday, April 5.
Next on the Forum’s agenda was a panel discussion led by Gayle Davis, AORN’s director of corporate communications, with first year board members Elizabeth Pincus, Carrie Simpson, and Dawn Myers Yost. The discussion provided insights into goals and responsibilities of board members with the intention to attract volunteers to the national positions. They emphasized the value of having board member perspectives of nurses who practice in different specialties, roles, and facility types.
The panel encouraged members to nominate candidates for office prior to May 15. “If you want to be involved, we want you involved,” said Pincus.
First-time Attendees Get the Buzz on AORN
Rounding out an action-packed opening day of the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo, first-time conference attendees gathered for an evening reception. Over 2,000 first-time attendees are at the conference this year, which is the largest gathering of perioperative nurses in the world.
VIBees, as first-time attendees are called, were given a quick virtual tour of the AORN 2017 Mobile App, a rundown of can’t-miss sessions, when the congress forums are, and a list of important places to keep an eye out for. All VIBees were given a little bee sticker for their badge to make it easier for first-time attendees to find each other.
However, being a first-time attendee doesn’t always mean they are a new AORN member.
Jodie Borchelt has been a member for three years, and came to conference to stay on top of the new and current trends.
“Actually, looking at all the booths – I’m interested in that,” she said. “I saw them setting it up and it looked amazing.”
Another member, Mary Jeskey, joined AORN, submitted a poster to the conference, and became a CNOR – all within the past year.
“I am learning so much,” she said. “I want to learn more about how to help other nurses.”
If you see a VIBee, say hello and welcome them to their first conference!
"Forty Under 40" Honored at Evening Reception
Standing with the “Forty Under 40” honorees, AORN Past President Renae Battié, MN, RN, CNOR said, “Having read your applications and looking now across the room, we have every confidence in the future of our profession.” The forty young professionals, all perioperative nurses and members of AORN, were welcomed last night by Battié and the Leadership Development Taskforce at an evening reception.
Battié, as chair, thanked task force members Cynthia Spry, Elena Canancari, Sheri Voss, Stephen Born, Liz Pincus, Amanda Brandon, and Linda Groah, AORN’s CEO and executive director, for their work on behalf of the task force. They established the application standards and evaluated more than 70 entries to identify forty young professionals who showed a high level of commitment to professional growth in the perioperative professions. Their applications demonstrated collaboration, vision, achievement and ownership – all key attributes of a successful leader.
For many of the honorees, this will be their first Expo experience. They’ll be introduced at today’s opening ceremonies and each can be recognized by their shooting star lapel pin. Looking to the honorees’ future, Battié said, “Our hope is to continue our connection with you. We want to learn from you and we want to encourage your continued engagement in the Association on the chapter and national levels.”
Ready to Vote? Meet the Candidates First.
Help Us Find the Next Editor-in-Chief of Your AORN Journal
Talk about “The Power of You!" AORN is currently recruiting for a new Editor-in-Chief for the AORN Journal, and you have the power to help us identify candidates who would best serve you and our other readers. The new EIC will succeed Dr. Joy Don Baker, who is completing her extremely successful term this year. We are incredibly grateful for her leadership and contributions, and we appreciate your help in finding someone with similar leadership skills.
We’re looking for an Editor-in-Chief who is in touch with the current perioperative trends and challenges that are most important to our members and who has network of potential authors and peer reviewers, so that the Journal can continue to publish high-quality articles on the topics most valuable to you. If you feel that you may be a candidate, view a more detailed job description.
If you would like to recommend someone, please email your recommendation to Gloria McCamley at firstname.lastname@example.org. All recommendations will be kept in confidence. Thank you for helping us shape the future of the AORN Journal through your referrals.
The Power Starts with YOU
The Importance of Self-Care
As a nurse, you spend your working hours caring for others. You probably spend a good amount of your time caring for others outside of your job as well. What Kim Richards wants to know is: how much time do you spend caring for yourself? In her concurrent session on Saturday, “The Power Starts with YOU! Bringing Your BOLDEST Self!” she turned the table on care, from the patient to the nurse themselves.
“It’s up to me to keep burning bright without burning out,” she said while holding up a small candle she carries in her travel self-care kit.
She held up a series of items – a sleep mask, a mirror, a cross, a watch she wore in Africa, her father’s old cell phone – explaining how each one centers her and brings her peace, mindfulness, or awareness.
The candle, she says, is to remind her about lighting her own flame and to take care of herself. For a nurse, caring for others doesn’t end when you leave the OR for the day.
“Everyone calls upon us,” Richards said.
Richards recommends gathering items of your own – it can be anything from shells to photographs to certain scents – that bring you joy and help you remember aspects of self-care.
Self-care, she says, doesn’t have to happen all at once.
“Small steps starting now,” Richards said. Later she added, “A lot of self-care is being mindful of your choices.”
She recommends starting small – practicing a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation, looking in a mirror and saying positive things about yourself, even eating a home-packed lunch instead of what’s in the break room.
Even 30 seconds of meditation can have positive effects, she says. She walked the attendees through a short session you can do anywhere. Richards recommends sitting up straight in a chair, planting your feet flat on the floor, and closing your eyes. Then, she says to take a deep breath, exhaling audibly through your mouth. With each exhale, she says to let go of the stress or anxiety you are carrying. She had the audience repeat this three times total for a fast, but effective, way to relieve stress.
For more information on self-care, visit Kim Richard’s website: http://www.self-careacademy.com/sca/
Learning from Tragedy
How Two ORs Managed Terror Attacks
At the one-day Global Summit on Saturday, the true power of global collaboration in perioperative nursing was in full force. The opening session, “Lessons Learned from the Paris and Belgium Attacks” presented by Françoise Delsa and May Karam, BSN, RN, IBODE, CCRN, took a look at the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Belgium and Paris. They identified the organizational improvements that occurred around logistics, security, communication, and psychological support before and after the catastrophic events.
On November 13, 2015, coordinated attacks were carried out in Paris and Saint-Denis, France, killing 130 civilians and injuring 368 others. Karam presented on behalf of her coworker, Nathalie Nion. Nion’s presentation covered how the hospitals in the Paris area plan, react, and respond to events like the attacks in Paris.
Four months after the Paris attacks, three suicide bombers claimed the lives of 32 people in Brussels. More than 300 people were injured in that attack. Delsa was working in the OR that day. She describes seeing severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, blast injuries, and large abdominal wounds.
“These were war injuries we had never seen before,” Delsa said.
In France, the hospital-level plan for handling mass trauma is called AMAVI, or accueil massif de victimes non-contaminées, which translated means “mass reception of uncontaminated victims.” In Belgium, their program is similar, but goes by the name MASH.
Steps in these plans cover everything from what kind of staff will be called in or kept, to how the rooms and supplies will be arranged for easy distribution, to who will order food for the staff working and families who are waiting.
Delsa says the MASH plan at her hospital was very successful in helping her team care for victims in the aftermath of the bombings in Brussels, noting they only lost one patient in the OR that day. But returning to work the day after was one of the hardest trials of all, saying she recommends closing the OR the day after an event like this.
“We gave all we had in the action,” Delsa said. “(The day after) it’s too hard for the professionals to make one effort more.”
Delsa notes post-event psychological care for healthcare professionals is one of the areas that MASH can improve upon, and should be an important part of any emergency plan.
Both nurses say having a plan for catastrophes like these and practicing those plans through simulations prior to the event helped them, and their ORs, keep running and providing care amidst the chaos.
AORN Foundation Silent Auction Open
Shop till you drop at the AORN Foundation’s Silent Auction in room 254. No time to stop by? Bid online here.
Exhibit Booth Fundraisers
Stop by the Sage Products (2015) or Megadyne (1817) booths and they’ll give a donation to the AORN Foundation.
Chapters and Councils Invest
There are over 250 AORN Chapters and 30 State Councils across the country that strive to create a strong community of perioperative nurses in each of their local areas. Stop by the Foundation Booth in the North Lobby to drop off your donation.
Congratulations to AORN of Central Alabama, drawn from the 2016 Chapter donors for a free registration to the 2017 AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo funded by the Ruth P. Shumaker Endowment.
Big Thanks to the Silent Auction Committee
The AORN Foundation wants to thank the 2017 Silent Auction Committee, which is co-chaired by Billie Fernsebner and Lady Sue Bell, for all their hard work making the auction a success. The committee is responsible for soliciting items, following up with donors, and helping out in the auction room. The AORN Foundation couldn’t do it without them.
Steps to Health Winner
Congratulations to the AORN Foundation’s Steps to Health Challenge winner for Saturday, April 1. The highest stepper was Yvonne Olson who had 24,638 steps! It’s not too late to sign up at the AORN Foundation booth in the North Lobby if you’d like to participate.
Opening Ceremony & General Session
AORN Congress – First House of Delegates
Exhibit Hall Opening Reception
AORN Congress – Voting for Candidates
Online & North Lobby
- If you find something at the AORN Bookstore or at a fundraising table, buy it then! Inventory is limited.
- Blisters and headaches are almost inevitable. The First Aid office is located in Room 050.
- Exercise lowers stress levels and will help you sleep better. Even if you’re not particularly active, try taking a short walk in the AM as it will increase your energy and loosen your legs for an action-packed day.
- Follow AORN on your favorite social media channel and use #AORN2017 to share your conference experience.
Come visit us at the AORN Central Theater - Booth #1500. Today we'll have a special preview of the new AORN mobile app at 5pm.