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Archive ORX Session Previews 2019

Join the Surgical Smoke Evacuation Movement

Janelle Casanave

Janelle Casanave, RN


Jennifer Pennock

Jennifer Pennock


Melony Prince

Melony Prince, BSN, RN, CNOR


The push for smoke-free ORs continues to gain momentum. Rhode Island passed a law in June 2018 requiring all hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities to adopt smoke evacuation systems in ORs during plume-producing procedures. Last April, Colorado passed a law banning surgical smoke, and nurses across the country are wondering how they can lobby local lawmakers to pass similar legislation in their states. At OR Excellence, 3 experts in advocating for mandatory smoke evacuation legislation will lead a panel discussion on how to keep building momentum at the grassroots level for clearing the air in all ORs.

  • Shape the message. Talk to your team about the commonsense importance of ridding ORs of smoke. "It's kind of crazy that we don't expect pilots and flight attendants, or bartenders and waitresses, to work in a smoky environment, yet we don't have a problem with the people who are in charge of taking care of our health working in a smoky environment," says Jennifer Pennock, senior manager of government affairs for AORN.
  • Stick to the facts. Arm nurses and surgeons with evidence and data — literature left in lounges and sent through emails — that gets their attention with hard facts. "I have conversations with surgeons and they literally do not know about this problem," says Melony Prince, BSN, RN, CNOR, clinical nurse educator at Littleton (Colo.) Adventist Hospital. "I give them case studies and share specific, real-world examples."
  • Raise awareness. Let the staff know about the user-friendly features on the latest smoke evacuation products. "I think that an obstacle to getting things rolling was people had to feel comfortable with the equipment," says Janelle Casanave, RN, circulating nurse at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, Calif. "Members of the surgical team have to feel like they're educated on what's out there."
  • Make it personal. You'll hear personal stories from panelists that will detail why they were motivated to take up the cause of ridding the OR of surgical smoke.

"We face occupational hazards every day, and now that I'm more aware of those hazards, I want to do something about it," says Ms. Casanave. OSM

Speaker Profile

  • Jennifer Pennock has nearly 20 years of experience working in government affairs and lobbying in the health policy arena.
  • Melony Prince, BSN, RN, CNOR, is 1 of 12 nurses to receive the 2019 Nightingale Luminary Award from the Colorado Nurses Foundation.
  • Janelle Casanave, RN, is part of the team at Kaiser Permanente San Jose that has earned Gold status from the AORN Go Clear Program.
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