Nursing News

AORN Prepares for Perioperative Nurse Week; 2011 Theme is Freedom to Speak Out

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September, 14, 2010 - Every year, one week in November is dedicated to recognizing the valuable role perioperative nurses serve every day for their patients, their facilities and their communities. AORN headquarters staff and members of AORN’s National Committee on Education have worked together to create an online guide with different ideas for perioperative nurses, other colleagues and the broader community to recognize Perioperative Nurse Week, Nov. 8-14.

With the theme, Freedom to Speak Out, AORN President Charlotte Guglielmi, RN, BSN, MA, CNOR, is encouraging perioperative nurses to take the time during Perioperative Nurse Week and throughout the year to speak up for their profession, whether they are educating future nurses about perioperative practice, speaking up for their role within their facilities or speaking out against practices that put patients at risk, as two Texas nurses spoke out in 2009 by reporting “shady physician practices,” which received national attention.

“Nurses worldwide need to feel empowered to speak up and speak out in support of patient safety in the OR,” stressed Guglielmi.

AORN is also releasing a list of recommended strategies designed to highlight the different ways to speak out for perioperative nurses. AORN’s online resource for Perioperative Nurse Week offers these recommendations:

• Show commitment to patient safety
Help raise awareness of the importance of adhering to AORN Standards and Recommended Practices to ensure safe patient care. Commit to supporting a Time Out for Every Patient, Every Time.

• Engage the future of perioperative nursing
Create community awareness of the perioperative role in patient safety. Visit local schools to create understanding of and interest in perioperative nursing. Find resources, tips and member success stories to help connect with middle and high school students.

• Advocate for perioperative nurses
Send a letter to an elected official to educate them about perioperative nurses.Learn more about ways to promote perioperative nursing through advocacy.

• Honor staff, colleagues and friends 
Celebrate perioperative colleagues and friends by making an honorary donation to the AORN Foundation or joining the Foundation in paving the Pathway to Patient Safety by donating in a brick engraved in honor of a colleague. Physicians and other members of the surgical team can also make donations in honor of their perioperative nurse colleagues. Learn more by visiting the AORN Foundation at

• Gifts to honor perioperative nurses
Books from the AORN bookstore and mementos from the 2010 Perioperative Nurse Week Store can also be purchased to honor perioperative nurses. This year AORN has released a number of new titles that can honor the perioperative nurse and show commitment to patient safety, including Heart of the OR, a collection of stories written by perioperative nurses highlighting important lessons to promote safety in the perioperative setting.

Source: AORN