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Great Ways to Celebrate Perioperative Nurses Week Nov. 8 (& Why We Should)

By: David Taylor III, MSN, RN, CNOR

October 14, 2020

Perioperative Nurses’ Week is fast approaching, providing an opportune time to recognize registered nurses within the perioperative department and to promote the profession within the healthcare industry. As surgical services departments across the country prepare to celebrate their nursing heroes, it’s my hope that Sterile Processing (SP) professionals also take time to honor their interdisciplinary teammates during this dedicated week (just like I hope they are doing for their SP teammates now during Sterile Processing Week).

Lending interdisciplinary support helps build bridges that can promote more effective teamwork and communication and, most importantly, lead to better patient outcomes. While perioperative nurses play diverse roles -- specializing in a variety of procedures and advocating for their patient’s needs, among other essential roles -- they cannot perform be at their best without the help and support of others. Giving these nurses something to look forward to each day of the weeklong celebration is a great way to build bridges and show support and appreciation for their role in patient care. Here are some ways to make that happen:

  • No celebration is complete without the decorations. CSPD can decorate the OR’s breakroom with streamers, ribbons, candies, flowers and thank you notes for perioperative nurses’ week.
  • Take a moment to honor those who partner with CS. At the beginning of each day, during the morning huddle or shift change a CS representative could take a moment to speak about a perioperative nurse.
  • Create a fun environment using elements from within your department and create a game perioperative nurses can play. Take items from CS and wrap them in a small blue wrapper and place them in the OR’s breakroom with instructions that each nurse has two minutes to feel each of the items and determine what that item is. The nurse with the most correct answers can win a prize.
  • CSPD can make and deliver snack bags and individualize them for each nurse with a personalized note.
  • Take the opportunity to educate during your celebration. CS can create several word search games and puzzles with hidden instrument and CS equipment and supply names. Leave it up to your CS staff if they want to include the list of the words associated with the puzzles.
  • Have OR staff read poems about everyday items and have them guess what each poem represented.
  • At the end of the week-long celebration take a moment to reflect on the humanity of the perioperative profession and what it means to the patients we all serve.

Patient safety requires a collaboration between all members of the surgical team, which includes personnel in the CSPD. Because of the close working relationship between perioperative nurses and CSP, it is important that team members work well together. Celebrating one’s accomplishments and fostering teamwork can improve interdepartmental communication and build positive relationships, ensuring patients remain safe while under our care.

David L. Taylor III, MSN, RN, CNOR, is the principal of Resolute Advisory Group, LLC, a health care consulting firm in San Antonio. He has served as an IAHCSMM columnist since 2019. For more information email David@ResoluteAdvisoryGroup.com