To the Editor:
What is a perioperative RN?
Perioperative nursing is a specialized area of nursing practice. The perioperative registered nurse works in collaboration with other healthcare professionals who may include the surgeon, anesthesia provider, surgical assistant, and other assistive personnel.
The perioperative registered nurse provides nursing care to surgical patients, preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively, often in the role of circulating registered nurse.
Why is perioperative nursing important?
Perioperative nursing requires a unique and highly specialized skill set gained from dedicated training and education.
As a perioperative nurse, I am responsible for planning and directing all nursing care for patients about to undergo invasive surgical procedures, and I serve as the patient’s advocate while they are unable to make their own decisions.
If you or someone you love has had a surgical procedure, the perioperative RN was directly responsible for you or your loved one’s well-being throughout the operation.
While all other well-qualified medical professionals in the room are focused on their specific duty, the perioperative nurse focuses on the patient.
By employing their critical thinking, assessment, diagnosing, outcome identification, planning, and evaluation skills, the RN circulator directs the nursing care and coordinates activities of the surgical team for the benefit of the patient.
History of OR Nurse Day/Week
In 1979, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) House of Delegates approved a resolution that AORN designate a day each year to promote consumer education and enhance public knowledge regarding the role of the perioperative nurse.
Nov. 14, 1979 was designated as OR Nurse Day. In 1990, OR Nurse Day became a week-long celebration which focused on educating the public about the role of preoperative nurses.
OR Nurse Day is still celebrated on Nov. 14 and has been incorporated into the week. In 2000, OR Nurse Week was changed to Perioperative Nurse Week to reflect the broad spectrum of patient care services provided to surgical patients by perioperative nurses.
What is happening in 2011?
Perioperative nurses want to come from behind the masks and closed doors to let you know that our nurses are dedicated to working hard to protect you, our patients, when you are most vulnerable.
We are your advocate. This year, in addition to providing superior patient care, we are also
supporting the role of the perioperative nurse in each of the key recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s recent report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Join us in celebrating the perioperative nurse in your life during 2011 Perioperative Nurse Week.
Lisa McDonald, CNOR, RNFA
Canton Potsdam Hospital