Chapter Awards

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Chapter Awards

Written by Mary Mirick, Awards Chairperson

Every year our Chapter recognizes leaders within our Chapter who are making a difference not only for our organization but also in their workplaces. Recipients may be seasoned perioperative nurses or those who are early in their careers, but contributing to our Chapter and making a commitment to its success.

Included in this issue of the Stereoscope is the application describing the four categories recognized each September at the Kick-Off Dinner. Do you know someone in our chapter who has gone that extra mile or someone who has just begun their journey through participation in chapter activities and/or committees? These leaders need our recognition and our encouragement if Chapter 2401 is to remain a viable professional organization.

Please review and complete the following application so the awards committee may recognize and celebrate leadership and involvement in our chapter. The committee will be meeting over the summer to identify and choose the next recipients. Send us a member’s name, the institution where the nominee works ,and the suggested award, the committee will do the rest! Mail your information to Mary Mirick, 110950 Von Hertzen Ct, Chaska, MN 55318 or send by email to

It takes many hands to keep our professional organization viable and those who volunteer their time and talents deserve recognition for their many contributions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nursing: One of God’s Thin Places

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Nursing: One of God’s Thin Places

Presented by William Duffy, ,MJ,RN,CNOR at AORN Conference and EXPO 2018
Attended and reviewed by Alyce Brekke, BAN, RN, CNOR

Nursing is viewed by the public as one of the most trusted professions. As we move from “Obamacare,” our future in healthcare is uncertain, both financially and with productivity. It is time to pause and look at the signs regarding our role in the world.

The Irish believe a thin place is where the distance between heaven and earth narrows and the veil is lifted and we get to experience heaven on earth. Thin places can be physical places or moments in time when we feel God’s presence and we are moved by his spirit. To the Irish, heaven is God’s presence and hell is the absence of God and love. Thin places are the ports in the storms of life.

Bill gave the example of a patient who was a young girl and her nurse was very attentive to keep her water close by so she could reach it at all times as she was immobilized. Another example was a 13 year old girl who really did not want to use the bedpan, but the doctor had her on bed rest, so the nurse physically carried her to the bathroom each time. Both patients remembered these kindnesses. So no matter how small they seemed to the nurses doing the tasks, their actions had an impact. One never knows how a little thing we do for another may be a turning point in their life. Later both patients chose nursing as their profession.

Bill also gave two examples from his daughter’s wedding. It was to be an outdoor ceremony at their local golf club. It had rained all morning and at noon the management asked him if they should set up inside for the ceremony. Bill went outside to look at the weather. He said some dads would have gone to the bar and had a cocktail. He walked outside and saw a double rainbow. The outdoor wedding went off as planned. He also shared a picture of their kiss at the end of the ceremony. The bride’s veil is lifted upwards in a beautiful arch yet the flag on the pole in the background hangs perfectly still. It was just moments when he felt God’s presence.

His closing statements were: “Don’t lose faith. It is our calling to stay true to the beauty of caring. It is the way through. Look for opportunities to lift the veil. Liberate your heart and celebrate the value you bring. Continue to pass this gift on to the next generation.”

Thank you for allowing me to be a delegate at EXPO. It always is an uplifting and educational experience. Alyce[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Retained Surgical Items

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Retained Surgical Items

Part 1: Assessing Risk

Presented by Victoria M. Steelman, PhD, RN, CNOR, FAAN and Sonya R. Osborne, PhD, RN at the AORN Surgical Conference and Expo 2018
Attended and reviewed by Stacy Johnson, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNOR, CNS-CP


  1. Describe strategies for assessing risk of retained items.
  2. Identify the steps of a proactive risk assessment of preventing retained surgical sponges, including limitations of current practices.

An evidenced-based review, methods and findings of clinical research and quality improvement studies related to retained surgical items conducted in the United States and Australia was presented. In both countries, mandatory reporting of the events is not required by all states, so the evidence does not demonstrate the full scope of the problem. However, these events are still occurring.

One organization was elected to conduct a Healthcare Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (HFMEA) (see Designed by the VA specifically for healthcare, HFMEA streamlines hazard analysis steps by combining the detectability and criticality steps into an algorithm presented as a decision tree. Failure modes are identified. This healthcare organization found after the detailed analysis of counting procedures, that surgical teams experienced miscounts due to 1) multi-tasking, 2) interruptions, or 3) emergencies. In review, it was not felt that focus on policy alone would resolve these situations. For this reason, they looked to incorporate technology as an adjunct to their surgical count practices.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Part 2: Evaluating Solutions

Presented by Hillary E. Storm, MSN, RN
Attended and reviewed by Stacy Johnson, MS, APRN, ACNS-BC, CNOR, CNS-CP

The implementation of “wand” technology to scan for radiofrequency identified sponges included analysis of the time teams spent looking for items during the count process. A cost value analysis was able to demonstrate the benefit of less time spent looking for surgical items balanced the cost of the technology.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nursing Today…Nursing Tomorrow!

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Nursing Today…
Nursing Tomorrow!

An Overview of the 2018 AORN Expo

Presented May 14th, 2018
by Barb Wiemann BSN, RN, CNOR & Cheryl Langford MSN, RN, CNOR

The 2018 AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo was held in New Orleans March 24-28th and as usual, was a great experience! The goal for the May Chapter meeting was to give a brief overview of a few events and presentations attended by Barb and Cheryl, and to share four ways for staff to care for themselves and support others throughout the journey of nursing.

The Expo highlight video was viewed as well as the 2018 Pink Glove Breakfast & Dance highlight by Medline.

Barb reviewed how the CNOR recertification process will be gradually changing and will encompass more point-based activities than just educational contact hours. The goal of this change is to assure continued competency. R. Knopp defines continued competency as “specified levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities not only at the time of initial certification but also throughout an individual’s professional career.” Contact hours for education topics are no longer sufficient enough to prove our competency to provide quality patient care.

Point activities may include mentoring another nurse during their orientation, academic studies, and teaching, publishing, or presenting education topics. It may also include volunteering on mission trips, CCI test development committee, or serving on boards or committees through your work facility, international, national, state or local levels. These activities are connected with current evidenced-based-practice guidelines and national standards of practice, just as our national AORN guidelines are updated with the use of evidence-based-research that guides us for safe patient care and positive patient outcomes.

Some great member discussion took place about certification and the concern for staff to remain certified in the future if the change is too drastic. CCI staff spoke to this on the Expo floor and more information can be found on the CCI website. The transition will be gradual, a date has not been determined yet by CCI, but once that occurs, CCI will notify us of the process. A hint to start with–update your personal profile on the CCI website with your current email address. They will inform us through
that media.

Cheryl spoke on the last speaker from the Chapter Leader Workshop on March 24th, who was DeNene Cofield, BSN, RN, CNOR. Her presentation title was “The Importance of Joy in the Workplace.” She was so full of energy, easy to listen to, and had some great messages to share, as well as a few book recommendations. She firmly believes that “joy has a shelf life, so you need to renew it and refresh,” and to “live life like you are looking through the front windshield, not the small rearview mirror.” Another impactful short video clip on you tube is “3900 Saturdays” which stresses the importance of each and every Saturday and the need to enjoy life! She had two book recommendations: Attitude is Everything by Keith Harrell, and Seven Lessons from Heaven; How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy Filled Life by Mary Neal.

Next was a brief overview of the Medline Breast Cancer Breakfast Speaker, LeAnn Thieman.  She is an RN and went through her career history and is one of the authors for the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul, Inspiration for the Nurses- 101 Stories of Appreciation & Wisdom.” She stressed the importance of self-care in regards to mind & body, spirit, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Remember that your mind is a computer and YOU choose the input! What you visualize and think about can change your function. Remember to take slow, deep breaths! Laughter is great medicine… so why do kids laugh on average 400 times a day and adults only 4-11 times a day? She asked the audience “What makes you laugh until tears run down your pant leg?” Forgiveness is also an important word! It is important to forgive yourself and someone else. When will YOU forgive yourself and someone else? Don’t give others the power to hurt you. Forgive them whether they deserve it or not. Forgiveness is freeing! So who will YOU forgive?

Keep your spiritual self in balance! Spend 15 minutes daily on something that speaks to you spiritually. This may intertwine with the mind/body/spirit concept of taking care of yourself. What is your #1 priority in your life and are you living it? Take some time to think each day. How do you achieve work life balance? Only you can choose to lead a more balanced life! “You are making a difference- set the world aglow with caring.”

Last but not least, we reviewed the past chapter year’s educational presentations; asking the members if they have changed their nursing practice due to a presentation they heard at our chapter programs? Members present stated that they were appreciative of all the topics offered and have made practice changes when possible.

Thank you to the 2017-2018 AORN of Twin Cities Chapter #2401 leaders for an awesome year![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Becoming Grayson

Spring Workshop – Embrace Action

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Spring Workshop – Embrace Action

Presented By Dr. Debra Thorp, Morgan Rock, RN and Jennifer Bourgoine, RN
Attended and written by Cheryl Langford.

The first set of speakers were all from Park Nicollet and worked at the Transgender Clinic and Services in Minneapolis. There were 15 pages as a handout of the power point presentation and we did not get through everything. Two of the goals were to help the attendees learn appropriate terminology and the meaning of LGBTQIA, as well as understand the continuum of gender identity and sexual health. L is for Lesbian, G is for Gay, B is for Bisexual, T is for Transgender, Q is for Queer or Questioning, I is for Intersex, A is for Asexual/Ally/Advocate.

Another goal was to help us understand what transgender is NOT. Transgender is a newer term, but throughout history and across cultures, there have been gender choices. Transgender is not a disease and not a choice.

Sex is the identification given at birth, male or female. Gender is how an individual perceives themself and what they call themselves. Gender identify can be the same or different from one’s sex assigned at birth. Gender Dysphoria is a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”main-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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JAN 2018 – May 2018

As of January 2018, we had 370 members (100 more members than a year ago) The chapter maintained 60% of its current membership and recruited new members and peri-op 101 students. If we had maintained 80% of our membership, we would have been eligible for 2 EXPO registrations. We did not meet that criteria. In May 2018, we ended with 378 members. Based on these numbers we did receive an $800 incentive from National AORN for recruitment. Great work!

Awards & Certification
No activity during this time period. However, the nominations are being accepted now for the 2017-2018 year for the fall presentation of awards. See the Award Form in this newsletter. Deadline is August 1st, 2018. Please mail to Mary Mirick, Awards, Chairperson. Her address and email are on the bottom of the Awards Form.

Bylaws & Policies
Bylaw changes were voted on and approved at the December 2017 meeting. The main change was to align the wording to match the National Bylaws such as the change from Nominating and Leadership Development Committee to Nominating Committee. We also reduced our quoram percentage for voting due to low attendance at meetings and increased membership numbers. The committee will attempt to tackle the policy manual in the coming year.

Community Relations
February donations went to American Heart Assn and we served lunch at the Ronald McDonald house following our Saturday meeting. April donations went to Dakota Woodlands. May donations went to Open Door Pantry / Mobile Lunchbox program. Total donations for the year were $1,287.00. Mary Kay Boell will be handing over the Chairperson position to Jacob Wager. Welcome Jacob!

Education & Workshops
February topic was Opioid Crisis in America. March topic was Bladder Stimulation. April Spring Workshop topic was Caring for Transgender Patients. Spring workshop had to be rescheduled until May due to April MN blizzard. May topic was Nursing now – Nursing later. Planning for Fall kickoff on September10th is under way. Also planning for Fall Workshop with National speakers, Vange Dennis and Brenda Ulmer, is set for November 10th. Application for National grant to assist with travel expenses has been submitted by Cheryl Langford. The ANCC approval process for continuing education was expensive and very time laden. Therefore, after April 30th, 2018 we will no longer be an ANCC Provider through WNA. Our ANCC programs will be a 1:1 application either through AORN or WNA. We will need to be proactive in applying for contact hours. More details can be obtained from Cheryl Langford or Barb Wiemann.

Beginning balance on 1/2/18 was $19,109.90. Income from Chapter dues, advertisement sales, volunteerism match, National incentives, and Spring Workshop. Expenses were speakers fees, SW food, RMH food, and 50th anniversary expenses submitted in January. Ending balance 5/14/18 was $19,724.33. Always seeking new fundraising ideas and assistance! Budget for 2018-19 reviewed, amended, and approved by the Board. Presented to the chapter at the May meeting and approved also.

Nominating Committee
The ballot was filled, accepted and approved by the membership. Voting to occur at Spring Workshop with installation of officers at the May meeting. President: Denise Edelman
President Elect: Caroline Ness
Secretary: Leah VanGorp
Board of Directors: Jane Oksnevad (to complete Caroline’s last year) and Dick Hebrink
Melissa Domogalla and Ruth Mitchell. Melissa Domogalla needed to withdraw her nomination at the last minute due to a relocation. Jacob Wager was approved to fill this position and installed with the rest of the officers. Always a reminder to view National candidates for office and vote during the EXPO period either in person or from home. All AORN members are allowed to vote.

There are several opportunities for advocacy – look at the MNA website.  Legislative session runs from February 20th through May 31st. Nurses’ Day on the hill on March 5th and 6th were cancelled due to weather. Student Nurse on the Hill day is April 10th. Unfortunately we are seeing many cuts to needed programs and insurance options. See Anne Jones, our expert, to find out more.

Newsletter & Social Media
OR NurseLink and FaceBook seem to be working well as communication options for our chapter. We also have a website at The newsletter is published three times a year: spring, summer, and fall. The next deadline is October 1st for a November 1st delivery to members. Newsletter is mailed to about 50 facilities in the metro area and sent electronically to all members of AORN #2401 based on your email address you have listed at National. Always looking for writers for the Stereoscope! It’s easy. Please volunteer!

New business
Three members attended the Leadership Conference during EXPO; they were Denise Edelman, Stacy Johnson, and Caroline Ness. Membership approved a $100 donation to National for the Silent Auction Fundraiser. Web Ex was successfully used for one Board meeting during this time. Hotel Reservations for 2019 have been made by Denise Edelman. Deposit has been placed on 5 rooms. September 17th will be the MN Summit meeting – hosting all MN chapter Leadership for talk with Kerilyn Vox, from National AORN Chapter Services![/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]

Opioid Crisis In America