Archive December 2018 XIX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Staff Satisfaction

Organized OR Turnovers? Check!

Teri Stanford, MSN, INS, RNBC, CNOR, CSSM
TASK AT HAND Surgical attendant Jose Quijano fills out the standardized checklist, which improves staff coordination and communication during room turnovers

When our staff satisfaction surveys revealed our surgical team needed a more organized system for turning over ORs, something had to be done. Checklists improve communication and teamwork during surgery, so we figured they could do the same between procedures.

Our nurses observed our turnover teams in action and referred to AORN’s recommended practices for environmental cleaning in the OR. We then developed a customized turnover checklist and hung dry-erase versions in each OR. The checklist notes tasks that must be completed — remove dirty linens, wipe down surfaces and empty kick buckets, among several other responsibilities — and includes blank areas where circulating nurses jot down equipment that must be removed from the room, equipment that’s needed for the next case, equipment positioning requirements based on room laterality and special cleaning instructions. Staff members check the boxes and initial completed tasks, so their teammates know what’s been done and what’s still left to do. We were surprised that the checklists didn’t dcrease our turnover times, but they did make turnovers more organized, and that’s what matters most to our hardworking team.

Tara Buck, MSN, RN, CNOR, CSSM
Teri Stanford, MSN, INS, RNBC, CNOR, CSSM
St. David's South Austin (Texas) Medical Center

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