Everyone On the Periop Team Has the Power
Every periop nurse on the team has opinions that matter – and you should understand effective ways of voicing them.
Publish Date: March 19, 2022
Erin Kyle
Erin Kyle, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC | Editor in Chief of AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice

No one understands what perioperative RNs need better than perioperative RNs. They are uniquely situated at the center of surgical patient care coordination, making them the most knowledgeable about which products best support optimal care.

Every periop nurse on the team has opinions that matter – and you should understand effective ways of voicing them, says Erin Kyle, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, Editor in Chief of AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. She answers some frequently asked questions about how you can go about getting your OR on board with a product or solution.

I’m a periop RN and have identified a product I want in our OR suite – what should I do to help make it happen?

First, be sure to thoroughly evaluate the product in your actual work setting before taking the plunge to advocate for purchasing it. Learn what information your organization may require when considering a new product or changing from an existing one.

Many organizations funnel decisions through a committee that systematically assesses certain decision points – and you should know what these points are. Your leader can help guide you through the necessary steps to ensure a trial of the product is successful and efficient.

Don’t forget to ask about any approvals and education needed in advance of trialing a product. Also be sure to discuss financial impacts of purchasing or changing products and equipment; it may be more spending or savings.

How do I pitch the product?

A well-coordinated pitch is crucial in gaining support for your product. Know the process for requesting new products in your organization and follow that process. More often than not, organizations have a structured evaluation and approval process in place. This process should include interdisciplinary team collaboration when considering a new product or piece of equipment.

Interdisciplinary collaboration on the front end of new product consideration does two things. First, it allows for a fuller perspective when evaluating items. Your team may see something that you did not while trialing the item. There may be some products that don’t really suit the needs of your patient population.

 Second, when the interdisciplinary team is involved in product evaluation, they are more confident about making a change, and it becomes easier to implement.

Getting the input from all team members who will handle, use, and benefit from the product or equipment will strengthen the message to your purchasing department to buy it.

Are there any products that are purchased specifically based on nurse feedback?

Products and equipment that are exclusively used by periop RNs are almost always purchased based on nurse feedback. One exception may be when items are substituted by purchasing personnel when items are on backorder or changed based on cost-savings initiatives. In a perfect world, all items used by nurses in the perioperative setting would be first evaluated by the nurses who will use them.

You have plenty of time to check out everything in Expo Hall Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Plan by asking your manager and team in advance what they’re most interested in. Then bring an open eye, open mind, and a lot of questions for the vendors. You never know what gems you’ll find at one of the largest surgical trade shows in the United States.