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Archive January 2020 XXI, No. 1

Ideas That Work: Seeing Is Believing

Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Warnings

Joann Ruff, BSN, CNOR
RAISE AWARENESS Place images of smoke-related symptoms around your staff's most frequent stops to make them more aware of the risks they face in the OR.

Surgical professionals constantly focus on protecting patients from harm, but what about their own well-being? One danger those of us working in the OR regularly face is surgical smoke. In order to make our staff more aware of the risks and potential effects of constant exposure, we printed photos of various smoke-related symptoms — coughing or eye irritation — and placed them around high-traffic areas in the surgical department. Below the photos, we noted smoke as a potential cause. I’ve heard nurses who see the photos say to one another, “Hey, I’ve been coughing. Did you see surgical smoke could be causing it?” It makes our staff more aware of the risks involved in plume-producing cases and encourages them to use smoke evacuators to protect themselves from harm.

Joann Ruff, BSN, CNOR
Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital
Garfield Heights, Ohio

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