Continuing Education

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”827″ img_size=”850×300″ style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][vc_column_text]

Continuing Education

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]FREE PERI-OPERATIVE CONTINUING EDUCATION 2018 WEBSITES
A variety of courses free that are 1-2 credits each, complete online and print your own certificate.
Go to Medline University, register on their site. They now have over 250 free CEUs.
There are multiple study guides to choose from, each with a test and 1 CEU. Create your own personal account to access the material.
Look for “all courses,” 60 minute webinars/pdfs on a variety of topics, 1 CEU each.
Click on education at the top, select from a variety of courses, look for those that provide CE. You will have to register before accessing the material.
Search “education,” there are 20+ CEUs on topics related to OR, Sterile Processing, and Infection Prevention.
Search continuing education. Courses presented can also be found on Pfiedler site.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2017 Fall Kickoff Dinner & Education

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”944″ img_size=”850×214″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][vc_column_text]



5:30-6:00 PM
Registration/ Socializing

6:00-7:00 PM
Dinner / Chapter Welcome / Awards

7:00-8:00 PM – Author and Motivational Speaker – Lin Bruce

Lin’s presentation seeks to remind listeners of their own potential and renew their awareness that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things!

WHERE: Children’s Hospital, 2nd Floor Education Ctr
2525 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Chapter #2401 has received a grant from National AORN allowing us to reduce the cost for all attendees to $25.00 this year!
We are also able to award FREE registration for the first 10 Peri-Op 101 students AND for the first 10 new members or first time attendees.If you qualify for either of the FREE registration criteria, please contact Rorie Chinnock, the Fall Kick Off Chairperson / Chapter President before submitting your registration at 612-710-9651 or Hope to see you there!

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”947″ img_size=”200×274″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][vc_btn title=”Learn More” style=”classic” color=”primary” align=”center” link=”|||”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2017 Chapter Challenge

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”935″ img_size=”850×300″][vc_column_text]

2017 Chapter Challenge

Win $1,000 For Your Chapter

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Work as a Chapter to recruit as many new* members as you can to AORN. The chapter that recruits the most new members will be declared the 2017 Chapter Challenge winner, receiving the grand prize of $1,000. The Chapter in second place will receive $500. Your recruits can save $80 on their AORN membership through the AORN Foundation Grant.

Here’s how it works:
Send your new member recruits to the grant application (please note that completing the grant application is not signing up for a membership). The AORN Foundation will review the application. If applicant is approved, AORN Membership will email the applicant instructions on how to join for only $80. You may send the grant application to an unlimited number of recruits. Applicants will receive the discount on a first-come, first-served basis as funds remain. Any applicants thereafter pay regular membership dues, but are still counted as a recruited member towards the grand prize.

Only RNs may apply for the grant. Offer excludes student, retired, and associate memberships and is valid until 8/31/17.

* A new member is anyone who is not currently a member and/or has been lapsed for more than 6 months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Community Relations

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”926″ img_size=”850×300″ style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][vc_column_text]

Community Relations

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]As chairman of Community Relations, I would like to thank our chapter for their outstanding efforts and generosity. The financial contributions collected during our chapter meetings is greatly appreciated. The time spent volunteering at Feed my Starving Children and the Ronald McDonald house is also making a difference in people’s lives.

Financial donations were collected for: Second Harvest Food Bank (September, $260.00), Augsburg College of Nursing Free Clinic (October, $78.00), Feed My Starving Children (January, $100.00), Mobile Lunchbox/ Eagan Open Door Pantry (June, $125.00). Thirty-five toys were collected for the Toys for Tots drive at the Fall Workshop. Some members donated pillowcases for the organization “Ryan’s Case for Smiles” at Expo in Boston. If you can sew, please google the organization for instructions on how to make them. We will help get them there. They continue to collect them every year at Expo!

Service events were well attended. On December 12, 2016 we served pizza, salad, fruit, and cookies at the Ronald McDonald House located within Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Participating in the Cook for Kids program is an enjoyable and a fun evening! Please join us in the future if you have not been a part of this service event. After the January Jam, several chapter members and their families were busy packing meals at the Feed My Starving Children, Eagan and Coon Rapids locations. This was also a fun event to help starving children in other countries.

The chairman of Community Relations is a great way to be involved with our amazing chapter. I have had the role for the last 3 years. I am always looking for new ideas or suggestions on ways to benefit our community. If a member of our chapter is interested in finding a way to be more involved, please consider taking over community relations as the chairman. Thank you in advance. Any questions regarding this role, please do not hesitate to email me at Remember, we all do have the power to make a difference in someone’s life!

Mary Kay[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Membership Dues

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Did you know…….

Each year when you renew your membership with National AORN and choose our chapter (#2401), we receive a portion to maintain our chapter functions. If you renew for one year, we receive $20 for that year. If you renew with a two or three year membership, we receive $40 or $60 respectively at the time of renewal. Therefore, our chapter funds may fluctuate greatly from year to year dependent on types of renewals and time of renewals.

For lifetime members, $20 is deposited with their initial payment. After that, no money is collected for the local chapter, but the member will continue to be a chapter member for life!
For retired and student members, no local chapter money is collected, but they remain a member of the chapter without payment.

National reports that Chapters can chose to charge those members dues if they would like.

The Board has discussed this for the past few years. We have decided to send out letters rather than invoices to our lifetime and retired members. We recognize your dedication to our profession by your commitment to become a lifetime member or stay active as a retired member but we ask that you consider a donation of $20 annually to help support our chapter and mentor our young membership. As you know we provide education monthly and need to pay speakers and that we also provide assistance to attend Expo.

It takes 55 paying members to support one delegate each year. Supporting fundraising events also helps our chapter. The letters will be coming out in the next few weeks. If you chose to donate now (or later), please send a check made out to AORN #2401 to our current treasurer, Marilyn Westphal, 3157 Doneene Lane, Eagan MN 55121.

Thank you in advance for any consideration or donation![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Installation Of Officers

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”900″ img_size=”850×300″][vc_column_text]


I wanted to give the installation a special touch this year so I incorporated a Rainbow / New Orleans theme (Expo 2018).
I used “beads and some Mardi Gras masks” to bring color and excitement to the new year and new officers serving our association. ….
By Marilyn Westphal

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Rainbows are made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each one of these colors is exquisite; however, when they all come together to form a rainbow, they become unequaled in beauty. Just as each color of the spectrum is distinctive, each office has specific responsibilities.

The color purple symbolizes the President. Purple represents leadership, greatness, and unselfish efforts. It is associated with royalty or persons of high rank. You have been elected to the highest office in your Chapter. It is an honor and privilege but it comes with many responsibilities. Rorie, may the color purple remind you to give unselfishly as you lead the Chapter as President for 2017-2018.

The color green symbolizes the President Elect. Green represents growth and inspiration. It is important that you observe and learn the workings of the Chapter. You must strive to keep the members in harmony and grow our chapter. Denise, may the color green serve as an inspiration for growth as you prepare to become President in 2018-2019.

The color yellow symbolizes the Secretary. Yellow is bright and optimistic and stands for thought and mental concentration. Keeping accurate records of all the chapter business requires a great deal of thought. Barb, may the color yellow give you the mental concentration and optimism to fulfill your commitment as Secretary for this year.

The color red symbolizes the Treasurer. Red stands for energy, vitality, and perseverance. It is also a sacrificial color indicating one’s willingness to give of oneself. The treasurer gives of themselves in many ways to handle the financial responsibilities of the Chapter. May the color red give me the energy, vitality, and perseverance to fill these obligations.

The color orange symbolizes the Board of Directors. Orange is a vibrant color. Your duties are vital to the officers as you assist them with running the chapter. Anne, Michelle, and Caroline, may orange inspire and assist you to carry out your duties for the chapter during your term.

The color blue symbolizes the Nominating Committee. Blue represents faith, loyalty and inspiration. Blue is also a calming color. The Nominating Committee should become acquainted with the membership and know their suitability for office and secure their consent to serve. Because the officers represent the chapter, we as members like them to be a composite of executive ability, vision, tolerance, wit, and wisdom with an agreeable voice. Leah, Jane, Lynette, and Stacy, may the color blue remind you of the duties of each office as you make selections for the ballot of officers in the coming year.

Members, please know that you are also a part of the rainbow. You are the tints and shades of these basic colors. You bring various talents and skills to this Chapter. You can evolve into any color that you want to become. I ask that you work with your new officers for Chapter 2401 and together you make this chapter a beautiful one![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Volunteer Leadership Academy

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”884″ img_size=”850×300″][vc_column_text]

Volunteer Leadership Academy Changes to Chapter Leadership Workshop

(Rorie Chinnock, Denise Edelmann, and Barb Wiemann attended during Expo 2017)

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Rorie Chinnock

AORN National changed up the training for chapter leaders this year by changing the name, location, and condensing the program. In the past, Volunteer Leadership Academy has been held in Denver at the National Headquarters in late May. It was a two- day training session for the incoming President and President-Elect. This year, the event was five hours long and held on Saturday morning along with Expo in Boston. It was re-named the Chapter Leadership Workshop.

There were positive and negative parts to changing the event. The best part was the 300% increase in attendance. In Denver, there were only 50-60 chapters represented and in Boston there was close to 200. It was easier for people to attend and not have the expense of flying to Denver. The negative part was that it was so condensed that there was no time to socialize and network with other leaders.

The workshop was still very helpful with National staff covering incentive programs for chapters and concentrating on recruitment and retention of members to advance the professional practice of perioperative nursing. There was an opportunity to meet in small groups and have a panel discussion on how to regroup and find alternative methods of bringing members together to increase involvement.

The Government Affairs Manager highlighted the importance of keeping in tune with what our legislators are doing and how that can impact our nursing practice. One of the speakers talked about generational changes in the workplace and how these changes can best be put in motion for engagement of all our members. It was a very condensed but worthwhile training workshop.
The board of your chapter 2401 is interested in hearing how best to meet the needs of our members in offering meetings, workshops, and social activities to engage more people. Please respond to with any ideas.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Denise Edelmann

Attending this workshop was such an educational and inspiring event. What an uplifting way to start my first experience at Expo and a little overwhelming too! The speakers were so knowledgeable and motivating. It highlighted that our chapter isn’t the only one trying to grow.

Chapter incentive plans and grants were explained. So many good ideas were discussed as to how to build our chapters, retain our members, and continue to grow our chapters and organization. It was so enlightening to hear what our chapters are doing to promote themselves in the community. We also heard about the changes in OR Nurse Link and how we can use this to engage our members.

Too many people such as legislators or hospital board members are trying to change our practice and they have no idea what we do and who we are! We need to keep our organization in the fore front. We also need to realize that we have different needs and ideas. We must realize what we need to do to meet all our needs. AORN has come a long way and we have the knowledge and power to meet the future and the future is US!

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Barb Wiemann

Three speakers, Amy Kirshenbaum, Melissa Hedman, and Jess Bohn gave a membership update to attendees at the workshop. They stated the Chapter plays an integral role in the advancement of perioperative nurses in their professional development and career. Recruitment and retention of our members is every member’s responsibility!

OR Nurse Link is evolving. There is a dedicated team to resolve issues and work on the site. OR Nurse Link is a resource center; tools are available; and upcoming events are posted. There is a direct link to a Resource Library and you can chat with other members in your chapter, state, or across the country. Topics of discussions currently on OR Nurse Link are: Betadine irrigation on the sterile field, job descriptions for RNFAs, and the use of Periop 101 and several more. Topics for discussion can be centered around a practice issue, novice nursing, career and professional development, and leadership or management. You will find a collection of peer to peer resources uploaded by members of the AORN community that might be helpful. It is a great way to network with your colleagues. For instance we received a message through OR Nurse Link for each chapter’s activities with registration forms. The key is you must sign on to OR Nurse Link to receive these messages.

Please if you haven’t used this tool, go now and sign on to and click on OR Nurse Link and sign in.

You won’t be disappointed![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Education Speaker Reviews

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Education Speaker Reviews

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”827″ img_size=”850×300″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]March 13th, 2017 – Managing a Healthy Work Environment by Michelle Nolander, MSN, RN

Michelle is the Director of Surgery, Endoscopy, and Outpatient Procedures at Northfield Hospital and Clinics. She spoke about the many stresses that contribute to the work environment for all of us: workload, shift work, staffing, interpersonal conflicts, decision making, additional responsibilities, and the physicality of our occupation. Michelle stressed the importance of actively participating in healthy behaviors such as food choices, exercise, spiritual growth and meaningful relationships that influence our own well being. We each completed our own perceived stress scale, which is the most widely used psychological instrument for measuring the “perception” of stress. Although some of us may have similar stresses, we all perceive it differently. She had completed a research study during her Master’s Degree on this at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Lessons learned were that life responsibilities compete for time and energy and ultimately decrease efforts and commitment to choose healthy behaviors. Stress reduction falls on the nurse to be willing and able to address their own self care and health promotion activities. And as mentioned prior, stress is generally defined by both the individual’s perception of the demands and their ability to meet those demands through skills and resources. Michelle also provided each of us with a nutritional guide and a list of the “Top 5 Super Foods for Busy Nurses!” Thank you Michelle for presenting to our Chapter.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]No April Meeting due to the International AORN Surgical Conference / Expo 2017 in Boston, MA from 4/1-4/5[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator][vc_column_text]May 6th, 2017 – Spring Workshop entitled What’s Up in This Joint?

There were four speakers and five CEU’s earned on this Saturday morning meeting. We started with What’s New with Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Meniscus Tears by Dr. Jason Holm. Dr. Holm is an Orthopedic Surgeon with Twin Cities Orthopedics. His focus is sports medicine and is especially interested in complex knee reconstructions. He started the presentation by reviewing the anatomy and functions of the meniscus and ligaments and moved into injuries and management of these types of pathology. Diagnosis is made through exam and imaging. Not every situation warrants repair or reconstructive surgery. It is an individual decision based on activity goals, instability, age, pre-exisitng or associated injury. He shared the general outcomes and limitations following ACL reconstruction. Currently, multiple techniques and grafts are being used. The future for ACL repairs may include stem cells, viral gene therapy, bio-activate agents, bio-scaffolds, and possible 3D tissue printing. Meniscus tears and treatments are also individual to each patient, highly dependent on the tear pattern of the meniscus: longitudinal, horizontal, radial, flap, parrot beak, bucket handle, degenerative, or complex. Treatment options include observation, physical therapy, injections, partial meniscectomy, or repair. When repair is not an option, collagen meniscal implants or cadeaver meniscal transplants are an option that most insurance companies are supporting. The audience was very engaged with great questions being asked and answered by Dr. Holm.

Our second topic was Hip Arthroscopy by Dr. Jason (Jay) Barry. Dr. Barry is also an Orthopedic Surgeon with Twin Cities Orthopedics. After a good review of hip anatomy, he discussed the pathology and treatment of labral tears and impingement syndromes. There are many types of impingements of the hip related to the ball and socket motion. Hip arthroscopy procedures require a traction device, large C-arm, video tower, and specialty hip arthroscopy instruments. Proper positioning to allow distraction of the joint and prevent patient injuries is critical. Labral repairs of the hip are another common procedure done through arthroscopy. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were reviewed as well as the necessary rehabilitation program with full functional recovery expected by 9-12 months.

Our last physician speaker was Dr. Edward Kelly on Shoulders 101. Dr. Kelly is an Orthopedic Surgeon with Twin Cities Orthopedics. He focused on shoulder anatomy and surgical pathology. Shoulders are very prone to injury. It is a complex joint built for mobility not stability. Rotator cuffs are prevalent in 50% of the MRI’s in patients over 60 yrs old, 28% for patients 40-60 yrs old, and only 5% under the age of 40. Repairs can be done as an all-open repair, mini-open with arthroscopic assistance or all arthroscopically depending on the location and severity of the injury as well as surgeon technique. It is imperative to counsel patients on the rehab program after rotator cuff repair and realistic expectations. Other pathology of the shoulder joint including osteoarthritis leading to total shoulder arthroplasty (joint replacement) was presented. Dr. Kelly too discussed the rapid advances in computer assisted planning and 3D modeling to print a guide custom for a patient’s anatomy. “One can virtually perform and plan the surgery before entering the operating room.” In summary, the shoulder anatomy is very complex; injuries are common; many respond to conservative treatment, surgery is effective, and options are evolving.

Thank you to all the TCO physicians who spoke to our group that morning and wished us all a Happy Nurses Day!

Finishing our Spring Workshop was Dr. Sarah Simmons speaking on Exploring the Future of Operating Room Disinfection Standards. This CEU session was sponsored by Pfielder Enterprises an affiliate of AORN.

Dr. Simmons’ emphasis was on how the healthcare environment’s level of cleanliness and disinfection plays a significant role in contributing to a patient’s chance of a healthcare acquired infection (HAI). There are an estimated 722,000 HAIs in the US annually. Surgical site infections account for 157,500 of these patients costing almost $3.3 billion in management and treatment. Most HAIs are considered preventable. We should all consider enhancing the processes of conventional cleaning with emerging no-touch disinfection techniques. A survey of the audience showed several health care facilities do own some type of disinfection equipment but it is not being used routinely in the OR. Multidisciplinary teams, such as infection control, nursing, and environmental services, can work together and assist in improving patient care outcomes by decreasing healthcare acquired infections through improved techniques. Thank you for joining us Dr. Sarah Simmons![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]June 12th, 2017 – Management of Radial Head Fractures by Dr. Thomas Varecka

Dr. Varecka is an Orthopedic Surgeon with HCMC and TRIA, specializing in hand and upper extremity. Dr. Varecka discussed radial head dislocation and fractures of the elbow often occurring after a FOOSH (fall on out-stretched hand) injury. Approximately 37,000 injuries occur each year. He explained the Terrible Triad of the elbow which includes dislocation, coronoid fracture, and a radial head fracture. Injuries can cause damage to the soft tissue stabilizers such as the medial and lateral ulnar collateral ligaments of the elbow as well as the bones. Through his slides and videos, we were able to see the mechanisms that occur with an elbow dislocation and treatment. The elbow presents challenges for the orthopedic surgeon that are different from other dislocated joints in the body. Although the elbow can be relocated, more definitive treatment is required to maintain proper function and prevent neurovascular compromise. Various treatment options and methods for other elbow instabilities were discussed including the often mentioned “Tommy John” surgery associated with professional pitchers. Thanks for such an informative night to show the injuries, repairs, and rehabilitation of the elbow to end our year![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Power Starts with YOU!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

The Power Starts with YOU! Bringing your BOLDEST Self

Presented by Kimberly Richards
Attended by and article written by Michelle Nolander, MSN, RN

Our 2018 AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo theme is Embrace Action: Mind, Body & Spirit. Kimberly Richards, a phenomenal speaker engaged our mind, body and spirit through her presentation on work-life balance. One of the most powerful quotes she spoke to was “We are healers, so unload the baggage!” We need to, as a profession, learn to unload our baggage. Let’s stop comparing how busy we are and not make it a competition. Kim states “we are all worthy of being happy, healthy caregivers.”

So how do we take the advice that Kim has given to us, utilize our AORN theme of Embrace Action: Mind, Body & Spirit and make a change? With the tools Kim gave to us! Lifestyle is responsible for about 85% of chronic illness. Kim explained there are six pathways of self-care that we must evaluate and change to reduce that unfortunate statistic. These include: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationships and choice.

Our physical self. When is the last time you took 5 minutes for yourself? 10 minutes? Right now… do a full body scan. Where do you feel tension? Where do you ache? If you are like me, and I imagine you are thanks to the physical demands of our jobs, I feel it most in my neck, back, and feet. What are some things you can do for your physical well-being?

Next on the list is our mental health. Oh boy. Have any of you taken a mental time out recently? The new apple watch has a great feature that reminds you every so often to take in deep breaths for a minute. It guides you through a very short breathing exercise. You have the option, when prompted, to participate or ignore it. Today, like most days, I have ignored each prompt. What if I just took the minute to re-center myself? What if we each took a minute to ourselves to refocus?

Emotional status. Every single one of us has it held together, 100% of the time 7 days a week, am I right? Exactly. What if we just took a few minutes, each day, to do an emotional check? How are you feeling? What is causing those feelings? Are there some things we can simply let go?

Spiritual needs. Whatever this may mean to you, have you filled up your spiritual cup? In my life, this is one of the first things I put to the side. It is the easiest to put on the back burner and “get to it later.” Find what fills up your cup and pour yourself a big drink.

Relationships are so important. We spend majority of our day with our co-workers. Being mindful of our relationships with each other at work is equally important as maintaining harmony at home. How are your work relationships? How are your relationships with your friends and family? When you spend time with them, are you present? Are you in the moment or is your mind elsewhere?

Finally, we get to the big one. The mother of all lifestyle choices. The power of choice. When you went through the five previous categories, how many of those things are choices? What can we do to allow ourselves time and grace to make the choices we want to make?

We are a population of approximately 3.7 million nurses. We have the power to change our work environment and profession by Embracing Action: Mind, Body &Spirit one day at a time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

First Time Attendee Expo Experience

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_single_image image=”812″ img_size=”850×300″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow_3d”][vc_column_text]

“First Time Attendee” Expo Experience

Presented By Leah VanGorp

Going to the 2017 AORN National Conference as a first time attendee was a great experience and I highly recommend it for all OR nurses. I went to it not knowing exactly what to expect, but trusted that the “veteran attendees” from our local chapter would guide me and show me the ropes.

Deciding to go to the AORN conference was initially an easy one. Since 2009, I had been working for a hospital that supported continuing education and gave staff reimbursement for their education expenses. I had been encouraged by my co-workers who had previously attended AORN and it seemed like a great idea. However, in October I switched employers and soon realized that my new employer did not have continuing education reimbursement. It made me question why I would spend my own money to go to a national conference and if it was really worth it to me and to my new employer. But I had to take a step back and acknowledge that I was doing this for my patients. My goals for attending the conference gave me that answer: to gain deeper knowledge and competence, and also provide a higher quality of care for my patients. So this definitely was an opportunity that was one I wasn’t going to miss.

One thing that I was most surprised by when I attended AORN was the quality of education and speakers that AORN provided. Just about all of the education sessions, along with all of the ceremony speakers were outstanding. Not once was I bored, falling asleep, or ready for it to be over. Every session kept me wanting to learn more and apply it to my career when I got home. Over and over I was inspired, challenged, and reminded of why I love being an OR nurse.

Something that I was naïvely not expecting was the amount of sleep I’d be getting, or shall I say not getting? Every evening had a social function and another memory to be made. Going to the Cheers saloon hosted by NorthStar Surgical, the Annual Scanlan party and the huge gathering of OR nurses at the House of Blues all added to the experience! Add that to an early morning education session or even better, the Medline Breast Cancer Awareness Breakfast (seriously was amazing) and you are left with one tired OR nurse!

If I could narrow down my favorite education part of the conference, it was on “Prevention of Surgical Site Infections.” I absolutely love evidence-based practice and there was so much updated important information in that session. I have pages and pages of notes on this one education hour that really pumped me up to bring back to my workplace!

So if you are an OR nurse and you have not thought about attending the AORN National Conference, I want to challenge you to consider it a possibility for 2018. Along with that, what is holding you back from getting involved in our local chapter and AORN at a national level if you aren’t already?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]