Harbor-UCLA Steps Up Its Orthopaedic Surgical Service

Harbor-UCLA Steps Up Its Orthopaedic Surgical Service

Creating close-knit teams for better patient care

By Katy Allgeyer
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Operating room RNs at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center get an extra shot of adrenaline working at a teaching hospital. “It’s exciting,” said Monique Eriksen, RN, MSN, CNOR, perioperative CNS. “You always have the opportunity to see new technology and techniques being used. Everyone is continuing to learn; not just the RNs, but the physicians, too.”

Harbor-UCLA, a 750-bed facility in Torrance, is a Level I trauma center, and the OR’s high-volume orthopaedic surgical service was selected for a new training program. “We’re trying to build an infrastructure based on specialty patient populations and develop additional competency programs to retain the staff that we have,” said Paula Siler, RN, MS, and director of professional practice affairs at Harbor-UCLA.

surgical, nurses, Harbor-UCLAA specialty team was developed from a group of interested nurses and surgical technicians on staff, and the education program consisted of several teaching modalities. Staff attended classroom lectures and skills workshops, completed reading assignments, and participated in case study presentations and online computer simulation training courses. The OR now has tightly knit teams of RNs, surgical techs and physicians in place that work closely together for better patient care.

“When you get to try something new like this program, you get excitement from staff and doctors,” said Ms. Eriksen. “It helps keep my own passion [for nursing] going.

Ms. Eriksen, a member of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, was a key developer of the orthopaedic specialty program along with colleagues Thresia Nayagam, RN, MBA and associate director of nursing, and Louis Kwong, M.D. and vice chairman of the department of orthopaedic surgery. Dr. Kwong was instrumental in obtaining the support and cooperation of the surgeons for this program as well as teaching several courses. Based on its success, development of a perioperative neurosurgical specialty program is underway.  

Katy Allgeyer is an artist and freelance writer. She is a columnist for
Working World and Working Nurse magazines.

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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