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Archive July 2019 XX, No. 7

Ideas That Work:First-Time Starts

Come Out Prepared, Have A Smooth Day

Phoenix (Ariz.) VA Health Care System
PREP WORK Courtney Clemens, MSN, RN, CNOR, left, and Frankie Wooten, RN, gather soft supplies the day before surgery.

Want to keep things running smoothly all day? Then get off to a fast start with your first-time starts. Here's how we did it:

  • Don't waste precious time looking for perioperative team members before surgery. Instruct the entire surgical team to meet and huddle at the pre-op bedside.
  • Have all your consents completed ahead of time in pre-procedure. You don't want to do them last-minute in the pre-op area.
  • Streamline the pre-op briefing process to include the timeout list as a pre-check before taking patients to the OR.
  • Use a standardized checklist, signed by each member, to improve communication among pre-op, surgery and PACU/discharge staff.
  • Gather the soft supplies the day before the case.
  • If you have trouble with antibiotics being ready when you need them, consider adding a refrigerator in pre-op so the antibiotics can be delivered and stored until needed.

Linda Pinkston, MSN, RN, CNOR
Phoenix (Ariz.) VA Health Care System

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