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Archive September 2019 XX, No. 9

Employee Safety: Banding Together to Breathe Easier

Nurses at Baptist Hospital took the lead in eliminating surgical smoke from the ORs.

Adam Taylor


Rachel Evers, MSN, RN, CNOR
RESEARCH TEAM Nursing residents presented the health benefits of using smoke evacuators during plume-producing procedures.

Baptist Hospital in Miami, Fla., this year’s winner of the 2019 OR Excellence Award for Employee Safety, is well on its way to clearing the OR air of surgical smoke thanks to the efforts of several nurses in training.

“A group of nursing residents conducted an evidence-based project on how working in a smoke-free health system would protect our staff,” says Rachel Evers, MSN, RN, CNOR, Baptist Hospital’s director of surgical services. “They presented it at our hospital fair. Nurse educators saw the presentation and told our directors about it.”

A smaller Baptist Health facility trialed a smoke-evacuation product, purchased it and now uses it during all procedures. Baptist Hospital, which has 24 ORs, is trialing 2 devices now and expects to be completely smoke-free in the near future.

Ms. Evers says how the idea came to be is an important part of what makes the safety practices at Baptist Health tick. “It came from the bedside,” she says.

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