It’s been another incredible Global Surgical Conference & Expo and I’m very grateful to Boston for being a terrific host city. Our participants came with all the energy and spirit we’ve come to expect of 5,875 perioperative nurses who share a passion for building on their clinical skills, networking with their peers and having fun. We can always count on this conference to expand our minds and reenergize our practice.
As perioperative nurses, our commitment to lifelong learning begins the first day we enter an operating room. Every day thereafter it falls to us to extend ourselves as we seek out new opportunities for professional development. In AORN, and with this conference and the many tools and resources that are presented online and in workshops across the country, we have a partner that can bolster every aspect of our ambition. I am proud of our professional association and proud of the quality of care that you provide your patients.
To all of you who attended the Global Surgical Conference & Expo and to our members who were unable to be with us, I encourage you to Embrace Action: Mind, Body and Spirit. Embrace action for your continuing education. When we embrace action, we are able to provide exceptional perioperative nursing care to every patient, every time. I look forward to seeing all of you next year in New Orleans, March 24-28.
Nathalie Walker, MBA, RN, CNOR
The Power of You Takes a Final Bow
The 64th Annual AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo wrapped up on Wednesday afternoon in Boston and the closing ceremony did not disappoint. President Martha Stratton started off by sharing, “This week has been such an inspiration and I hope each of you have had the same shared experience I encountered. It certainly was a chance for all of us to reconnect, recharge, and revitalize our commitment to this amazing culture and association.” She gave kudos to the wonderful city of Boston and then announced that AORN, with the support of attendees, donated $5,000 to ReadBoston, the city’s only comprehensive early literacy program. This carries on AORN’s proud tradition of giving back to its host cities.
From there, the annual AORN Staff Award given by the Board of Directors to a department at AORN was awarded to the AORN Membership Department. This year’s department of the year has made great strides to advance the mission of AORN and to grow the association. President Stratton thanked all of AORN Headquarters staff for their dedication and hard work over the past year. From there, she acknowledged the more than 300 members who served as moderators and session assistants throughout the week. She then invited Jeffrey Keane on stage to honor his efforts this year as Volunteer Coordinator.
She also thanked the wonderfully effervescent host, Alex Garday, in addition to the incredible behind-the-scenes team, including Freeman; Marshall Robinson & Associates; CMAC; The Boston Convention Center, and Wyndham Jade, and acknowledged that their support and expertise helped make this conference a rousing success. President Stratton had her vice-president, Missi Merlino, join her on stage and Vice-President Merlino presented President Stratton with her 2016-2017 President’s plaque and her Past President’s pin. The AORN traditions continued when AORN’s Executive Director, Linda Groah bounded on stage to honor President Stratton with these words, “Martha – you have been steadfast and determined as President of AORN, under your leadership the Board of Directors made many significant decisions that will position the association well into the future. On behalf of the AORN staff please accept this gift as a memory of your year as President of AORN.” Groah then presented her with a beautiful crystal gavel for her year of service.
Then it was time to introduce the future leaders of AORN (view full voting results below). President Stratton introduced the 2017-2018 Nominating Committee members and the 2017-2018 Board of Directors. President Stratton introduced and congratulated the new President-elect Stephanie S. Davis, MSHA, RN, CNOR, CSSM, Treasurer-elect Jane Flowers, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM, NEA-BC, CRCST, and the 2017-2018 President, Nathalie Walker, MBA, RN, CNOR. As soon as President Walker was presented to the audience, it was official, she was now President Walker. She enthusiastically addressed the crowd and ended the ceremony with these parting words, “Join me in Embracing Action: Mind, Body, and Spirit and experience the joy of being a perioperative nurse. Let’s continue to find ways to rekindle and reinvent our passion for our profession, for who we are, and for what we do. It is falling in love with nursing over and over again.”
It is indeed. Thank you for joining us in Boston and we can’t wait to see you in New Orleans next year.
AORN Congress - Second House of Delegates
President’s Report, Executive Director Report, Foundation Report, and AORN Bylaws
AORN President Martha Stratton opened the second House of Delegates on Wednesday by saying she is a southerner by birth, a nurse by education and training, and a perioperative nurse by the grace of God. She then proudly reviewed the successes of her term and highlighted the members’ approval of two position statements during a virtual business meeting since the previous Congress. Stratton impressed upon members her sincere appreciation for her opportunity to serve and conveyed the high esteem with which AORN is held in the international community.
Next, Linda Groah presented the Executive Director’s report, highlighting AORN’s value as leaders in evidence-based practice, confirmed by the more than 40 government and other organizations that have requested AORN representation on their boards, task forces, and committees. In response to the member needs assessment survey, AORN now provides Periop 101 students with a membership for one year and is exploring content for a Periop 202 that would be based on surgical specialties such as MIS, orthopedics, cardiac and neuro. This year’s efforts led to 6,100 new members and 7,400 lapsed members who have recently rejoined.
Anne Fairchild, Treasurer of the AORN Foundation, reported on the Foundation’s accomplishments in the past year. The Foundation awarded $160,000 in academic scholarships, 180 professional development grants, and provided to support educational programs and regional seminars focused on current topics affecting the industry. New in 2016, the Foundation helped launch the AORN Go Clear Surgical Smoke Free Recognition program. Fairchild proudly announced that last year 87% of all Foundation revenue went directly to support resources touching the lives of real nurses. The Foundation raised over $240,000 in the past week in Boston.
President Stratton then led the House of Delegates through discussion and voting on proposed amendments to the AORN bylaws. First, the members nearly unanimously approved an amendment to the bylaws that restores the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee to a more traditional nominating committee by eliminating the committee’s leadership development responsibilities, allowing the committee to focus more exclusively on candidate selection and the election processes.
Next, members considered a bylaw amendment that would have required all candidates for AORN board of directors, officers, and the newly renamed Nominating Committee, to hold current CNOR certification. As part of this discussion, members also considered a proposal to allow for additional accredited perioperative nursing certifications to meet the proposed certification requirement. After robust discussion at the microphones, both proposals were ultimately laid on the table by a strong majority, meaning that AORN will be creating a bylaws committee in the coming year to consider both options regarding certification. The issue of whether a BSN should be required to serve in elected office with AORN will also be considered in the coming year by the same committee.
The meeting wrapped up with Kristy Wheeler, Chair, Nominating and Leadership Development Committee presenting President Stratton with the 2017 election results (see below) that were revealed in the closing ceremony that followed.
3rd Annual Periop Challenge
A Surprise Ending for All
The 3rd Annual Periop Challenge kicked off in the ballroom yesterday morning. There were 31 questions, four teams, three rounds, and lots of laughs. The Periop Challenge focused on clinical practice issues and evidence-based practice challenges all while having a whole lot of fun. As hosts, Renae Battié and Alex Garday dazzled the crowd with their shared wit and stellar dance moves as they warmed up the participants with three practice questions focusing on Boston history, which included the question, “In what year did Mass General purchase its first one-horse ambulance?” It was…1873.
The 2017 Perioperative Challenge included content from the AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice, Guideline Essentials, frequently asked questions submitted to the consult line, and issues that are reported by various organizations. Prior to yesterday’s challenge, the entire ballroom was divided into four different teams – Blue, Green, Red, and Orange. Teams were then identified by the color of the lanyard attached to their ARS keypad/voting devices. One of the special features of the Periop Challenge is that contestants not only got points for correct answers but they also got more points the faster they responded. For each question they had 10 seconds to respond.
The four teams went head to head for two rousing rounds answering questions like, “Hemoglobin A1C, or, 'A1C,' is a blood test that measures a person’s average blood glucose level over the past three months. The A1C test result is given in percentages. What is a normal level?” and “The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) area is usually divided into four zones - I, II, III, IV. Patients and personnel should first pass an MRI safety screening process before entering which zone?” After two rounds the score stood at Team Blue with 177 points, Team Green with 172 points, Team Orange with 166.96, and close behind was Team Red with 166.42.
The teams each chose two team members to represent them on stage for the final round. Team Blue was represented by Kim Cotter and Holly Sanford, Team Green representatives were Heidee Albano and Jennifer Bragdon, Team Orange chose Judy Goldberg and Leah Goldberg, and Team Red was proudly represented by Lisa Cargill and Rod McArdle. All four teams were eager and poised to take home Periop Challenge gold.
The final question was, “A facility has just opened a new hybrid OR suite with an MRI scanner housed in a 'garage' between the two new hybrid ORs. This technology allows the MRI scanner to be moved into one of the hybrid ORs via a track system when needed. Safety measures when using the MRI scanner include:"
- A. Placing only MRI-compatible equipment within the 5 gauss line.
- B. Placing signs only at the entry of the restricted areas to communicate that the MRI scanner may be in use.
- C. Using a checklist after the MRI scanner is positioned for the patient in the hybrid OR to verify that MRI-incompatible equipment is within the 5 gauss line.
Team Green answered first and chose “A” to questionable murmurs from the crowd and then Team Red, Blue, and Orange all confidently answered the same with “C”. Then Battié gave the surprised crowd the answer –”A.” After counting the wagered points, it was Team Green for the win. The Team Green team erupted with excitement and will enjoy the 2017 Periop Challenge bragging rights until we all meet again in New Orleans next year. Congratulations to all participants!
2017 National Election Voting Results
Stephanie S. Davis, MSHA, RN, CNOR, CSSM
Jane Flowers, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM, NEA-BC, CRCST
Board of Directors
Vicki Barnett, MSN, RN, CNOR
James (Jay) Bowers, BSN, RN, CNOR, TNCC
Evangeline (Vangie) Dennis, BSN, RN, CNOR, CMLSO
Brenda G. Larkin, MS, RN, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, CNOR
Karen M. Knapp, BSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA
Nikki Washington, MSN, MBA-HCM, RN, CNOR
Panel Discussion with Guidelines Authors
Questions Answered by AORN’s Perioperative Nursing Experts
Authors of the 2017 edition of AORN's Guidelines for Perioperative Practice answered attendee questions on Wednesday morning, allowing the nurses who conduct the research on the Guidelines and the nurses who practice them to connect.
The panel included Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN, the Director of Evidence Based Perioperative Practice for AORN, Byron Burlingame, MS, RN, BSN, CNOR, a Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist at AORN, Ramona Conner, MSN, RN, CNOR, FAAN, the Editor-in-Chief for Guidelines for Perioperative Practice at AORN, Mary Fearon, MSN, RN, CNOR, a Perioperative Practice Specialist at AORN, Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR, a Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist at AORN, Sharon Van Wicklin, MSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA(E), CPSN-R, PLNC, a Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist at AORN, and Amber Wood, MSN, RN, CNOR, CIC, a Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist at AORN.
They told the audience that creating and reviewing the Guidelines is no easy task.
“Reviewing this literature is like sipping from a fire hydrant,” Conner said.
It takes 9 to 12 months to put a guideline together, and AORN creates five new guidelines a year. Every guideline is reviewed in a five-year cycle.
Several attendees came up and asked questions, including inquiries about site verification, the surgical “time out.” and attire.
The authors told the attendees to watch for updates to the positioning guideline in May, and that a new guideline for medication safety will be up for public comment in mid-May. One audience member asked if the Guidelines will ever be made free as a member benefit.
While the book is not a free member benefit, AORN's Guideline Essentials are. You can learn more about them here.
Steps to Health Big Winner
Congratulations to the AORN Foundation’s Steps to Health Challenge winner for the WHOLE WEEK - Samuel Cabrera walked 136,518 steps from Saturday to Wednesday and took home a $250 gift card.
Thank You to Foundation Sponsors
Thank you to all of the corporate sponsors who made this week a success for the AORN Foundation. Click here for a full list of this year’s generous sponsors.
2016 AORN Staff Award
Congratulations to the AORN Membership Department for winning the 2016 AORN Staff Award given by the AORN Board of Directors.