Archive December 2018 XIX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: First-Name Basis

Embroidered Scrub Caps Make Close-Knit Teams

Sarah Hirx, MSN, RN, CNOR
NO INTRODUCTION NEEDED When staffers' first names and titles are embroidered right on their caps, it eliminates the need for mid-procedure introductions.

When you work in a larger organization where multiple team changes can take place during a single surgery, keeping track of the names and roles of all those rotating nurses, surgeons, anesthetists, students and techs can seem like an impossible task. Luckily, there’s an easy fix: Having staffers’ write their first names and roles on pieces of tape with a Sharpie and sticking them directly to the scrub caps.

But we’re upgrading from tape and markers to fully embroidered, reusable cloth caps. During the process, we’re noticing more close-knit communication among staff in the OR. There’s no longer any need for mid-procedure introductions; people immediately know who you are and why you’re there — and that has increased staff’s response time and also reduced potential safety issues. Plus, we’ve found that communicating by first names helps people feel more empowered to speak up.

The embroidered caps serve a dual purpose. Staff appreciate the recognition aspect of the personalized caps, which the hospital will provide free-of-charge to all staff who are required to don surgical attire, including surgical processing techs and orderlies. From an administrative perspective, it helps with standardization. People can only have their name and title on the caps and can’t write something ridiculous like, say, “Sarah Queen of the World.” Plus, the caps are reusable. People don’t have to bother with the tape and Sharpie every time they enter an OR.

If you’re thinking about going the embroidered route, talk to infection control to make sure you won’t violate your facility’s surgical attire policy.

Sarah Hirx, MSN, RN, CNOR
Stanford Health Care
San Mateo, Calif.

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