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Career Sphere

A special week for perioperative nurses

Perioperative Nurse Week, November 11-17, 2007, continues a tradition of recognizing nurses who protect and care for patients undergoing surgery. This year’s theme is “Perioperative Nurses: A Legacy of Leadership in Safe Patient Care.”

In a letter to her colleagues, AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses) President Mary Jo Steiert, BSN, RN, CNOR, said, “My hope is that it instills a reminder that we have made great strides in leading the way for improved patient safety and that safety will continue to be one of the key elements of our daily practice.”

The recognition tradition dates back to 1979, when the first OR Nurse Day was observed. Now, perioperative nurses have a well-deserved week of celebration of their role.
 Leading role in safety
Perioperative nurses have long taken a leading role in OR patient safety. In 2002, AORN launched the Patient Safety First program as part of a broader safety initiative. The organization has developed tool kits on fire safety, correct site surgery, safe medication administration, and patient hand-off that members can access at the AORN website (www.aorn.org/PracticeResources/SafetyResources). Also at this site, all nurses can learn about AORN’s safety resources on perioperative emergency management, workplace safety, and patient safety.
Perioperative nurses not only guard patient safety. They care for patients who are scared and worried and help ease the patients’ minds simply by being there.
For those of you already lucky enough to be perioperative nurses, get involved in Perioperative Nurse Week through such activities as hosting a community open house or organizing a teddy bear hospital for children.
To learn more about Perioperative Nurse Week and this exciting specialty, visit www.aorn.org.

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