Bring it On…Strategies to Create a Positive Workplace - Meg Soper

The challenges of working in healthcare and in the Operating Room require us to be effective communicators. We can create a positive environment at work, at home and within ourselves through effective communication. Meg has developed this interactive and engaging presentation that focuses on the changing work culture. Understanding generational differences helps us create an atmosphere where we can communicate more effectively. People are different not necessarily difficult. We may not be able change a person’s behaviour, but when we understand them it saves us time and lowers our stress level. We can learn to appreciate our differences and recognize the value that each of us brings to the workplace. Through laughter and interactive energy people come away with a better understanding of each other’s unique qualities. Explore ways to shift your perspective to better communicate, motivate and gain cooperation with other people. Participants will leave armed with practical strategies geared towards a healthier, happier and more productive workplace.

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Surgical Care Safety: Think National, Act Local - Bonnie McLeod & Jennifer Rodgers

This session will provide an overview of activities underway at the national level to improve surgical safety, highlighting the important leadership role of ORNAC. The speakers will also help translate how national level activities can support OR nurses who are working to improve safety at the local level.

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Evidence Based Practice for Managing Perioperative Patients in the Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism - Patrick Voight

As a personal survivor of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and massive Pulmonary Emboli (PE) my chance of dying according to statistics was 1 in 4.  Fortunate for me, luck and excellent medical treatment saved my life.  PE is one of the leading killers of patients in the United States and around the world annually.  DVT and PE have been called the “silent killer” since 80% of the patients with DVT are unaware that they have any signs or symptoms in the first place.  According to The Joint Commission, deaths in our hospitals due to Pulmonary Embolisms are considered to be the number one preventable hospital acquired condition.  Statistics further show that between 10% - 25% of all deaths in our hospitals are related to a pulmonary embolism and if managed appropriately could have been prevented.  Perioperative Nurses are the front line for assessing and identifying patient risk levels.

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“WHERE DID OUR INSTRUMENTS GO?” Partnering an Ambulatory Care Hospital with Reprocessing Specialist -  Tara Curnoe and Thahn Vu

“Will our instruments come back?” “Will the reprocessing meet quality and professional/institution standards?” “What preventative or emergency measures are in place?” “Where does accountability lie?” This collaborative presentation will review the challenges and development of a strong partnership between a Reprocessing Specialist and an Academic Ambulatory Hospital.  The presentation will outline the journey the two institutions embarked on to create trust, accountability and reliability.  The talk will identify structures and processes to monitor quality and outline strategies taken when issues have arisen.  Issues of humidity, debris, instrument loss/breakage, omission of instruments, meeting change request deadlines are examples which occur in the Operating Room environment; yet avoidance is key.  The collaboration has resulted in sharing and achieving best practices. Examples of staff training and how leadership and structure impacts day to day function will be shared.  The presentation will challenge the status quo of hospital based reprocessing and outline necessary requirements.

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Harnessing Technology in Perioperative Nursing Education - Heather Plaxton and Bhavna Pooni

Technology is powerful. It has changed the world and how we connect with it. Consequently, its rippling butterfly effect has also changed education; delivering knowledge through online platforms fostering proficiency, accessibility, and opportunity.   Mobile devices and smart phones are the norm. Most students not only have a cellphone, but multiple mobile internet connected devices, that are entrenched in their daily lives. These devices allow students to take pictures, learn through videos, search surgical procedures, review anatomy and find answers to questions, all at the point of care. Education has embraced and harnessed this productive energy to facilitate knowledge acquisition. Many jurisdictions have decided to ban student-utilization of mobile technology in educational environments. This is in contradiction to the current direction of society. Thus, the use of these devices and range of available software to enhance learning.

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Electronic Distraction in the Operating Room: a Major Safety Issue - Peter Papadakos

The lecture will discuss the rise of electronic addition in our society and how it affects professionalism. We will also look how this breakdown in electronic etiquette has affected patient safety. Guidelines and Protocols on how to deal with this rising problem will be shared with the participants.

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Using Perseverance to Develop ORNAC Standards - Muriel Shewchuk & Gloria Stephens

Members of the original committee will reflect on the challenges in the development of the ORNAC Standards of thirty years ago. The perseverance brought forth a series of Perioperative Professional Standards indicating a specific body of knowledge, competencies and deemed the right to be acknowledged as a professional speciality. Each Perioperative Nurse now has the obligation and responsibility to uphold this professional specialty by becoming Certified through CNA, ensuring the ORNAC Standards meet the current practices for patient safety and care.

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The ORNAC Standards and Guidelines Presentation with Guest Speaker Kevin Woo


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Creating a Strategic Plan for Perioperative Pressure Injury (Ulcer) - Susan Scott

The incidence of perioperative pressure injuries (PPI) over the past 5 years has NOT decreased but increased (Chen, 2012). According to a 2014 publication from the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, the incident rate for pressure injuries attributed to the operating room ranges from 5% to 53.4% (National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, 2014). As a result, substantial patient harm has been reported, leading to complications, disfigurement, disability and death. Despite published guidelines specific to the operating room (OR), significant gaps in knowledge, practice and research exist.

Keys to PPI prevention include developing a strategic plan to address factors in all phases of perioperative care. This program will describe how to develop a clinical improvement strategy for reducing PI in surgical patients by implementing a comprehensive Perioperative Pressure Injury Prevention Program (PPPIP). Learn how to use tools such as the Scott Trigger Gap Analysis template, SWOT analysis, the Scott Triggers® and an OR Skin Bundle to improve patient safety and strive toward the ultimate goal of zero patient harm.


  1. Identify the factors that increase the risk of pressure injuries in the surgical patient.
  2. Describe the role of the Perioperative nurse in creating strategies to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pressure injuries in the surgical population.

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Two Empowering Words: I Write - Debra Clendinneng

Perioperative nurses have fantastic stories and experiences. They engage in exciting research. What better way to harness and share perioperative power than through writing? Taking the step from the spoken word to writing and publication is personally rewarding and contributes to perioperative nursing knowledge locally and internationally.

All nurses are potential writers – if it does not come naturally, the art of writing can be learned. In this presentation the audience explores reasons for nurses to write for publication. It discusses the start of the project: thinking, considering fresh topics and perspectives, determining the reading audience, and planning the project. It delves into the choice of writing style and give examples of different types of articles. A brief review of basic principles of writing for publication in peer reviewed journals is followed by explanation of current publishing trends. It concludes with resources and support for Canadian nurses who wish to write. 

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Perioperative Jeopardy - Chris Downey & Angela Russell

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Working Together to Protect Our Environment - Kim McLennan-Robbins & Laura Smith

Recycling initiatives in the Operating Room at the University of Alberta Hospital have been in place for over ten years.  This presentation will show the process used in recycling within our Operating Room, the Hospital procedure in the collection of our recyclables and how they are processed at our city recylcing plant, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC), which isone of the leading advanced waste processing and research facilities in North America.  Suggestions on how to implement a recycling initiative at your site will be discussed.


  • To share ideas on managing the various waste materials generated in the Surgical Suite.
  • To share with each other the various initiatives that other sites have tried, successfully or otherwise.
  • To address the barriers that we encounter when trying to set up recycling programs.

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Perioperative Nurse Specialty Training in Rwanda - Jocelyne Granger

  • Describe the perioperative skills training session developed for the perioperative nurses CHUK in Kigali, Rwanda.
  • Discuss the advantages of simulation training to promote a collaborative environment for safe surgery.
  • Discuss the six month and one year post training observations and the remaining challenges of perioperative nursing in Rwanda.

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Harnessing the Power of Recognition: Resuscitation for Healthy Teams and Safe Communication - Sarah McVanel-Viney

"What would you do if you had a tool that cost virtually nothing, takes almost no time, and is guaranteed to improve communication, safety and team dynamics in your OR? And what if I told you you've used it, know about it, and even like it…all you need to do is brush up on it?


In this session you will get purposeful about harnessing your power by using one of the most effective ingredients in high performing healthcare teams - recognition. Let's deal with the common roadblocks to healthy team dynamics so you can spot them, intervene right away and boost your resiliency and job satisfaction. Let’s ensure you don’t lose another top performing colleague or staff member to turnover in their search to find the place they can do their best work. Recognition isn’t fluffy stuff. Through this interactive, engaging and healthcare-specific keynote, you’ll know exactly how, when and why recognition is your best evidence-based strategy to boost the safety and effectiveness of your workplace starting immediately!

Useful Videos and Resources for Sarah’s Talk:

  1. Mistakes organizations make that cause our best people to leave - here
  2. Resource gossiping (Versus negative gossip) - here
  3. Compassion fatigue video 1 (especially for healthcare practitioners) - here
  4. Compassion fatigue video 2 - here
  5. Attitude of Gratitude - here

Professional Satisfaction (PS) 3-Part Video Series:

LinkedIn Articles on Recognition:

  1. Negative in the Workplace - here
  2. Starting a Recognition Movement - here
  3. Tiny Fey`s Rules of Improv & Health Workplace Cultures - here
  4. Recognition of leader (a story) - here
  5. Why "Good Job" isn't enough - here
  6. Peer to peer recognition - here
  7. 80+ ways to recognize - here
  8. Recognition is not fluffy stuff - here

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Harnessing Knowledge with Fast Track Perioperative Education - Lyanne Faucher Sinclair & Dawn Affleck

Ongoing supply and demand issues, accessing quality education, along with  shrinking health care budgets pose  challenges for educating future perioperative nurses. This presentation will focus on a unique educational endeavor using innovation and collaboration as part of a solution to address how to best educate nurses and meet the competencies of the Perioperative Nursing program in a timely manner. When met with the challenges of recruiting and filling perioperative nursing vacancies in community hospitals, a regional health authority in southwestern Manitoba faced this challenge by reaching out to a longstanding academic partner to find a solution.  Through strong nursing leadership, innovation, trust, strong communication, academic mentorship and support, quality accelerated perioperative nursing education was offered and stability was attained. Working together, we harnessed our resources to provide quality perioperative education in a timely manner that met needs of the health care facility, health region, and the academic perioperative nursing program.

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Degrees Matter: Prevent hypothermia before it starts! - Paula Mendes-Baldinelli

Unplanned hypothermia is one of the most frequent complications of surgery and demands a collaborative approach to prevention. The perioperative team must recognize and understand the importance of maintaining normothermia for every patient throughout the perioperative experience. In this education session you will learn about the risks associated with unplanned hypothermia, the benefits of maintaining normothermia and the effective strategies to help improve patient outcomes.

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Disruptive Behaviors: Reducing Their Impact for a Better Tomorrow - Alexander Villafranca

There is an increasing consensus amongst experts that disruptive behaviors in the operating room undermine patient safety, staff morale, and organizational efficiency. We present the latest research on disruptive behaviors, including new data from the largest international survey that examines these behaviors. The first half of the talk will describe the problem of disruptive behaviors based on the best available evidence. The second half of the talk will present a positive outlook on the future of interpersonal dynamics in the operating room. By the end of the session, participants will be able to articulate the causes and consequences of disruptive behaviors. They will also become cognizant of what actions experts are recommending in order to mitigate the detrimental consequences of disruptive behaviors. The goal is have attendees leave the session feeling informed about the problem, hopeful for the future, and galvanized into positive change.

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Bringing the Baby Friendly Initiative into the Operating Room: The Best Start for the New Family While Maintaining OR Standards - Melissa Mackie

World Health Organization's Baby Friendly Initiative provides a framework for providing the best possible start for breastfeeding. As a leader and educator in a labour and delivery operating room, as well as a International Board Certified Lacatation Consultant, I have found what I believe to be a balance between what is best for the new family from a breastfeeding perspective while still maintaining OR standards. This session will cover the essentials for allowing for early and uninterrupted skin to skin contact in the OR, breastfeeding on the operating table, getting anesthesia and surgery colleagues on board, and alternatives for emergency situations.

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Leadership: Focus on Followership - Carol Kirkwood

Are you a great follower? To become a good leader you need to be a good follower. Previously literature focused primarily on the leader but there is now a shift that focuses on the follower.   Both informal and formal leaders are increasingly dependent on their followers for good information to provide quality patient care. Great leadership is possible when one is surrounded by great followers.  As a key member of the healthcare team, informal and formal leaders need to understand followership and recognize these qualities in the team.  This overview will share key qualities of followership, recognize strength within existing environments and assist nurses to realize the potential within to be a great follower.

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Contributing Perioperative Knowledge in Quality Based Procedure (QBP), HBAM and ERAS at the Frontline - Bernadette Chiu

There is an increasing consensus amongst experts that disruptive behaviors in the operating room undermine patient safety, staff morale, and organizational efficiency. We present the latest research on disruptive behaviors, including new data from the largest international survey that examines these behaviors. The first half of the talk will describe the problem of disruptive behaviors based on the best available evidence. The second half of the talk will present a positive outlook on the future of interpersonal dynamics in the operating room. By the end of the session, participants will be able to articulate the causes and consequences of disruptive behaviors. They will also become cognizant of what actions experts are recommending in order to mitigate the detrimental consequences of disruptive behaviors. The goal is have attendees leave the session feeling informed about the problem, hopeful for the future, and galvanized into positive change.

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Vendor Credentialing – Avoiding the Mess - David Loukras

Vendor credentialing can be useful.  It can be critical, especially in the OR where traffic control is paramount to patient outcomes.  Done incorrectly it could cost your facility millions.  Ridiculous?  Fact: the ven­dor credentialing process in the U.S has added $1 billion annually to their healthcare system. This equates to 100 million dollars every year in Canada. 

This presentation will explain the difference between vendor access management and vendor credentialing specific to the OR, give you knowledge on how to best manage vendors accessing the OR, explore why vendor credentialing is performed and identify the costs when not done right. It will also help you determine what type of credentialing your OR may require, provide no cost options for vendor credentialing in the OR and offer straightforward steps to manage your vendors.  Understand and manage vendor credentialing so you have the knowledge to make the best decisions in your OR.

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Patient Positioning Simulation Lab: Innovative Operative Solutions for Patient Positioning - Julia Cristobal

The objective of the workshop is to connect with the ORNAC delegates in an educational workshop environment by providing key information, including solutions and/or multiple options for the varying degrees of challenges the clinical team experiences on a daily basis with respect to patient positioning in the operating room.

New this year at the ORNAC conference, the patient positioning simulation lab will address five common surgical positions: Prone, Lateral, Lithotomy & Steep Trend, and Supine. Each station (4 in total) will be equipped with surgical equipment to demonstrate the different surgical positions. Delegates will rotate through the different stations and the approximate time per station is 15 min, total time for the workshop is 1 hour. A team of Patient Positioning Specialists from AMT Surgical will be running the simulation lab. Delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions, present challenges and complications they may encounter when positioning patients for certain procedures and discuss solutions to maintain skin integrity, ensure patient safety and optimal patient outcome.

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Skin Antiseptics, Bioburden Reduction and Optimizing Skin/patient Prior to Surgery - Kathy McGhie

By the end of the session you will be able to:

  • Recognize myths associated with the use of antiseptics
  • Explain ways to optimize the efficacy of antiseptics
  • Identify current safety, quality and efficacy standards for skin antiseptics in Canada

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Nurse Practitioner as First Assistant - Exploiting the Advanced Practice Nurse in the OR - Heather-Lynne Goody & Matthew Dubuc

Nurse practitioners, who have worked in acute care settings for many years in Canada, have rarely been first assistants in surgery while greater integration has occurred in the U.S. St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener Ontario has utilized a Nurse Practitioner in Thoracic Surgery to provide first assisting in a growing minimally invasive thoracic program. This role has been previously recognized by Cancer Care Ontario for its innovative approach to patient centered care. This has further expanded into General Surgery and ENT programs.

The continuity of patient care has improved with the advanced practice nurse now present during the pre, intra, and post-operative phases of surgery.  Exploiting novel ways to utilize advanced practice nurses in the operating room has strengthened the perioperative nursing profession in Canada.

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Bypassing Costs and Cutting Rates of Surgical Site Infection at The Ottawa Hospital Bariatric Program - Celina Baker

Given the current state of health care funding, many providers are challenged to utilize organizational resources more efficiently. The Bariatric Program at The Ottawa Hospital (The Bariatric Centre of Excellence) has identified and implemented key changes in order to be more cost efficient while providing their patients with world-class care. This team modified their surgical technique and they have been successful in not only reducing the cost per case, but also have substantially decreased the surgical site infection (SSI) rate.

This presentation will endeavor to demonstrate how the Bariatric Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) team identified an area for improvement, evaluated current practices and successfully implemented an alternative surgical technique. As a result, this team has reduced their SSI rate from 8%, to less than 1% over 2 years and has saved over $150,000 per year.

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Fort McMurray Evacuation Experience - Karen Espersen & Janelle Gavin

On May 3, 2016 the city of Fort McMurray was evacuated due to raging wild fires. The entire nation was touched by this disaster. In this presentation we will share the events leading up to the evacuation, the day of the evacuation, the set up of the Field Tent Operating Room, and the reactivation of the hospital. How did we "Harness Our Power"? Come and share our experience and our journey....

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A Brief EXIT Before a Grand Entrance - Kathy MacDonald & Morgan Richard

An ancient proverb states, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. Significant planning and collaboration were necessary to prepare for the first Ex utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) procedure at the IWK Health Centre. EXIT is a life-saving technique used to secure a fetal airway in the presence of an airway compression, while oxygenation and perfusion are maintained through utero-placental circulation. The IWK’s obstetrical team followed a mother whose fetus was diagnosed in utero with a high airway anomaly/obstruction and normal trachea. The diagnosis was made via ultrasound and supported by MRI.

The EXIT procedure involved interprofessional collaboration with the following teams: Pre-Natal Care, Obstetrical, pediatric and adult Anesthesia, ENT, Neonatal, Respiratory Therapy, and the Pediatric Operating Room. This presentation will review the steps to prepare for the elective procedure, the possibility of emergency surgery due to early labour, as well as describe the intraoperative experience, and the post-operative debriefing.

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Improving Data Collection Efficiencies by Removing the Paper Trails - Maryann Towns

For any quality improvement program it’s important to measure and evaluate the new process or implementations to ensure that they are sustainable.  At the Ottawa Hospital, many quality improvement initiatives have been implemented through Comprehensive Unit Based Safety Program (CUSP) teams to reduce surgical site infections and to strengthen team communication.  In order to properly evaluate multiple interventions audit tools were created and Process Monittoring was conducted.  With an abundance of data to decipher, the Perioperative team assessed the current data collection process and determined that an electronic data collection system would provide real time data to drive further quality improvement initiatives. This presentation will include how one organization moved from paper data collection to an easy, user friendly electronic format that is efficient, while utilizing the resources already established within the organization.

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RNFA Suturing Workshop

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Implementation of Intraoperative Case Costing - Allie Akers & Rhonda Beck

Over the past decade, there has been a spread of computerized systems in hospitals many of which have found their way into our Operating Rooms. This advancement provides an opportunity for hospitals to gain access to computerized clinical, financial, and statistical data.

As our health care system evolves we find ourselves under increasing demands to demonstrate our ability to provide and document appropriate cost-effective high quality care. The Ottawa Hospital has launched a proposal using informatics information applications to allocate patient specific case costing data, to identify opportunities for standardization and to review alternatives to high cost items. With 30% of Health System Funding Reform (HSFR) based on Quality-Based Procedures the importance of knowing how much each case costs is essential.

The objective of this presentation is to discuss the proposal for planning, implementing and transitioning the Perioperative environment to case costing at the patient level.

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ORNAC Consultation Workshop: Promoting the role of RNs in ORs - A National Initiative - Laurie Boyer

TeamSTEPPS was developed by the US Department of Defense Patient Safety Program in collaboration with the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and has been used broadly in Perioperative settings.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), as part of the “Shift to Safety” program, is in the process of making TeamSTEPPS available to OR Teams in Canada.

This presentation will provide an update on the progress of implementation and uptake of TeamSTEPPS in Canada to date, as well as next steps, and information for surgical teams interested in implementing TeamSTEPPS.

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Tourniquet Safety for RNFA - Candace Samudio

Pneumatic tourniquets are used for many types of surgical procedures involving the extremities in order to establish and maintain a relatively dry operative field, minimize blood loss, aid in the identification of vital structures, and expedite the procedure. Despite the well- documented benefits of pneumatic tourniquets, their use can be associated with potential adverse local and systemic consequences. Patient safety should always be a priority with tourniquet use; therefore we, perioperative nurses should understand advancements in tourniquet technology as well as key safety implications in order to use tourniquets effectively. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an in-depth view of selected safety aspects related to tourniquet use in orthopedic surgery. It will provide a brief review of the components of a pneumatic tourniquet system, including the various types of tourniquet cuffs available today. Criteria for tourniquet cuff selection and application will be presented. Key patient safety aspects related to Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) during orthopedic surgery, including the reduction in postoperative pain; matching limb protection sleeves; and reprocessing of tourniquet cuffs will be discussed.

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Clinical Audit Informs High Reliability in the Operating Room - Catherine Steel

Patient outcomes are optimised when clinicians consistently or reliably employ evidence-based standards of practice.   Within Australia, the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards (ACHS) authorized the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) to develop and monitor a set of mandatory healthcare accreditation measures.  Healthcare accreditation requires healthcare facilities to substantiate the translation of evidence into practice consistently.   In providing clinicians, administrators and the public with evidence of the integration of recognised patient safety strategies, the Operating Room (OR) nurse leaders at a tertiary hospital in Brisbane, Queensland developed a series of clinical audits.  These audits provide an analysis of the OR nurses and interdisciplinary teams clinical standards of practice and include aseptic non-touch technique, medication safety, clinical handover, positive patient identification and procedure matching. This presentation will describe the evolution of the audits process; tools, results and the effective processes employed which demonstrate sustainable results.

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Ontario's Surgical Efficiency Target Program Drives Improvement in Perioperative Practice - Valerie Zellermeyer & Sandra Foard

This presentation will discuss in depth the Surgical Efficiency Targets Program (SETP) managed by Access to Care (ATC), Cancer Care Ontario. SETP is sponsored by Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to support Ontario’s Wait Time Strategy & Patients First: Action Plan by capturing and reporting 20 key metrics designed to measure surgical efficiency performance, support process improvements and enhance timely access to care.  Hospitals across the province collect and submit perioperative data on a monthly basis.  ATC runs the data through rigorous data quality checks and generates value-added reports for the hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and ministry.  Five of these key metrics are now provincial best practice targets and have been incorporated into funding criteria.  We will demonstrate how the program is sharing this information, challenging organizations to review their processes and using the data to help drive further performance improvement and enhance standardization of care.

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Les soins périopératoires au Québec - Sylvie Beauregard

Au cours des dernières années, après avoir rencontré des infirmières travaillant en soins périopératoires dans différents pays du monde, nous constatons que les catégories d’infirmières et les rôles de chacun sont très diversifiés. Nous discuterons des diverses formations reçues par les infirmières au Canada et les types d’établissement dont elles sont issues. En plus spécifique, nous voulons démontrer l’évolution de la formation en soins périopératoires.  Le Québec étant passé de formations crées par les établissements vers une formation standardisée à travers tous les hôpitaux Québécois via le E-learning. Il sera aussi question de nos assises à travers les différents documents qui nous guident pour exercer notre profession de façon rigoureuse. Les références qui dirigent notre conduite telles que les lignes directrices de l’Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec, les normes canadiennes de l’association des infirmières et infirmiers de salle d’opération du Canada (AIISOC), et plusieurs autres.

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Expansion of Transition Related Surgery - Nicole Bentley & Duane Stockley

Women’s College Hospital collaborated with Sherbourne Health Centre and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to increase access and expand transition related surgery to decrease the waitlist in the province of Ontario (over 1500 individuals).  The accepted proposal collaborative work has begun and includes Trans community members. This presentation will outline the integrated process utilized to review current status of wait times, access and referral, availability of transition surgical procedures, and initial recommendations and work to date.  This talk will creatively present educational content and strategies for health care providers to create acceptance (e.g. language) and supportive environment (e.g. posters/information) for those seeking transition surgical care.  Perioperative Nurses will speak to the specific selected ambulatory surgical procedures (top and bottom) and implications (positive and challenging).  Tthe goal is an integrated model of care where the transpeople are surrounded by support and care close to home as reasonable and transitions are managed seamlessly throughout their journey.

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Effectiveness of Tablet Computer Game for Reducing Pediatric Preoperative Anxiety - Fu Xiaoling

The objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive entertainment via a tablet computer game (TCG) to manage children’s preoperative anxiety. Methods 134 children undergoing elective surgery were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=66), who played TCG in the waiting room, and a control group (n=68), who didn’t play TCG. Anxiety was assessed by the Modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale (mYPAS), blood pressure, and heart rate on the day before surgery, and again on the day of surgery in the waiting room. Results The increase in mYPAS score in the treatment group was lower than that in the control group (P < 0 .01). No significant differences were found in increase in blood pressure and heart rate between the two groups. The regression analysis shows that, other things being equal, the use of TCG significantly reduced preoperative anxiety. Conclusions TCG is an effective method to reduce children’s preoperative anxiety.

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Healthy Perioperative Nurses, Happy Workplace - Phuong Nguyen

Perioperative nursing is a highly skilled profession involving work in high stress environments. Without proper physical and mental care, nurses can experience stress and injuries, which can adversely affect their performance in circulating or scrub nursing roles. According the Canadian National Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses (2005), injury related to nursing employment was alarmingly high. An unhealthy mind and/or body can lead to absenteeism, hostility, reduced productivity and efficiency. This presentation will highlight key factors that affect an OR nurse’s health and will provide strategies and exercise routines to promote health in order to prevent stress and injuries at work.

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Providing Exemplary Collaborative Care for Patients with Autism - Marian Simonffy

Increasing numbers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) require repeated general anesthetics for routine procedures due to lack of cooperation.  This is can prove to be distressing  with risk to patient,  health care personnel, caregivers and other patients.  More often caring for these patients creates delays, diminished efficiencies and  often cancellations.  Currently there are only a few sites in North America who have a specific program for children with autism going to the operating room.  Under the leadership of Anesthesia and Childlife at Hamilton Health Sciences, the perioperative  care team performed a pilot study to assess a care bundle specific to ASD children.  This care bundle includes a stream lined process and medication protocol tailored to patient preference whenever possible.  Providing special accommodations will provide quality patient care for the patient, family and care team affected by autism.

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The Novice Perioperative Nurse: A Journey to Educate and Retain Our Future - Dawn Affleck

The journey of novice perioperative nurses in relation to their new colleagues, the unique operating room culture, and the importance of patient safety is presented with humor and empathy. Patricia Benners’ 1982 seminal work “From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice” is chosen as a lens to examine the journey of a perioperative nurse. Concrete perioperative examples are used to link nursing theory to practice. Perioperative nursing education is an expensive, yet crucial endeavor for hospitals. Thus to ensure retention, and return on investments, administration, operating room nursing leaders, and perioperative nurses must collectively facilitate and support our novice perioperative nurses. Specifically, evidenced-based knowledge and supportive strategies for managers, educators, mentors, and colleagues are discussed. The collective awareness, acceptance, and use of ORNAC standards in our nursing practice is offered as a means to build strong perioperative nurses and teams.

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Safety in the OR - Victoria Steelman and Donna Watson

  • Patient Safety in the OR: “The Impact of Never Events”
    • Never events are patient safety incidents that result in serious patient harm or death, and that can be prevented by using organizational checks and balances. U.S. stats estimated that a foreign object such as a sponge or towel is left inside a patient’s body after an operation 39 times a week, or 4,000 times a year . While checklists and counts can help track these items to improve prevention, these practices do not address what happens when the count is off.
  • Staff Safety in the OR: TBD on “The Dangers of OR Smoke”
    • Evidence continues to mount regarding the dangers of smoke in the OR. Some of the latest statistics and trends in smoke evacuation will be shared. Canada is leading the way in smoke evacuation adoption across North America. How can we collaborate with our neighbours to the South to raise awareness on the dangers of smoke?

OR Safety, Two Perspectives:  Staff Safety in the OR and Patient Safety in the OR

  • Staff Safety in the OR:  “The Dangers of OR Smoke
  • Patient Safety in the OR:   “Never Events” –  Beyond Prevention”

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, Nurses will:

  • Learn more about common North American safety concerns
  • Gain an appreciation of the U.S. experiences and how this compares to the situation in Canada
  • Gain an understanding of key new practices in OR safety

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Patients Matter: Why Patient-Centered Care Will Make You a Better Nurse - Mark Black

Mark Black will be your keynote speaker for your 2017 conference. He writes the following:

"After living with chronic illness for more than three decades, my life has been touched by many amazing nurses. Nurses are heroes, and I consider it a great privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to your success.

My work with nurses has shown that your work isn’t getting any easier. Demands constantly increase, but the resources to do your job well do not. Bureaucratic red tape, and economic austerity put you under stress to do more with less. Systems and processes designed to make things more efficient can also distract and detract from the core purpose of your work, to care for your patients.

“Patients Matter” is not about telling you that your patients are important. You already know that. “Patients Matter” is a program designed to help you to re-focus on the essence of nursing. Together we will go on a journey of re-discovery to the heart of why you do what you do, and give you the strategies and the tools to help you be a more effective and fulfilled health practitioner."

Would you do us both a favour?

My primary goal is to ensure that my presentation provides you with practical, implementable, ideas to help you be the nurse you want to be. One of the best ways to ensure that happens, is for me to know you a bit better. I would love to hear directly from you about your specific challenges. What is the #1 thing preventing you from doing your work as you want to do it? What is your primary professional goal right now?

Would you go to: or email me: with “ORNAC” in the subject line, and tell me your answers to those questions? The better I know you, the better I am able to ensure that what I share with you at your conference will be directly applicable for you.

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Harnessing OuR Power: Collaboration and information sharing among perioperative educators - Jennifer Pettit, Dina St. Aubin, and Elizabeth Stec

The  clinical nurse educator (CNE) role has a rich history in fostering the growth and development of perioperative nurses through their clinical expertise in promoting best practices, assisting in policy and procedure development, and the mentoring of others. This multifaceted role continues to be vital in unit/program success in achieving  positive patient outcomes. However, it is increasingly becoming more complex. Challenges, such as constantly evolving (surgical) technologies, an increased demand for a diverse range of educational support, and competing responsibilities between the clinical  and corporate settings with finite resources, can lead  the CNE into feeling immensely overwhelmed, isolated and experiencing reduced job satisfaction.

The perioperative educators at a multi-site tertiary care centre experienced these emotions recognizing they were working harder not smarter. In an effort to achieve a workable entity, actions were taken by the educators to implement  a more collaborative approach to education development, delivery and information sharing.

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Speaking up is hard to do - Gillian Kernaghan, MD

Health care is focused on team work and this is very evident in the operating room. Each member of the team needs to take accountability for the quality, safety and the work environment. Speaking up when we observe colleagues taking shortcuts, disregarding policies, ignoring standards of care is challenging and essential to improve care.

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Getting to always - Gillian Kernaghan, MD

Safety measures in health care suggests there is seven percent error rate. We need to strive for never events however they require always behaviour. This requires the commitment of leaders and staff.

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Preventing Complications at Hysteroscopy - what the OR nurse needs to know. - Ally Murji


  • Discuss principles of electrosurgery at hysteroscopy
  • Learn the differences in hysteroscopic distension media
  • Tips to prevent common complications at hysteroscopy 

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Beyond the surgical checklist: Perioperative risk management - Chantal Leonard

What type of perioperative adverse events trigger professional liability? How does a court determine whether health care professionals have been negligent? What risk management strategies can be implemented to reduce the risk of litigation? The CNPS will canvass those questions through the use of case studies. Wondering whether the new models of care delivery carry new legal implications? We will also review the emerging liability risks arising from the practice of perioperative nursing.

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Chief Cook and Bottle-washer – Perioperative Nursing in a Field Hospital. - Rachel Meagher

From natural disasters to armed conflict, learn about the Canadian Red Cross’ work in emergency settings, and get a glimpse of what is involved in running an operating theatre and a field hospital in austere environments.

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Is the RNFA Role Accepted Across Canada - Chris Downey, Grace Groetzsch, Jane Radey, and Sharon Wandzura

In 2001, RNFA representatives from most provinces met at Banff, Alberta and formed a committee.  In 2002, the committee was named Registered Nurse First Assistant Network of Canada (RNFANC).  At the 2003 conference in Winnipeg, RNFANC became an affiliate of ORNAC.

Now 15 years after formation, RNFANC members would like to know if the RNFA role has been accepted in each province?  What are the reasons for not employing RNFAs?  Are other healthcare professionals being hired in place of RNFAs?  What can a perioperative nurse do to establish the RNFA position in their healthcare facility?  What is the scope of practice for employed RNFAs?  What salary do RNFAs make compared to staff perioperative nurses in their health care facility?

These are some of the questions the RNFANC Executive hope to answer with the help of the RNFA members attending the panel discussion. All interested nurses are encouraged to attend.

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Closing Ceremonies

Remarks from:

  • National Conference Planning Pillar - Kim McLennan Robbins
  • National Conference Planning Chair - Linda Whyte
  • Executive Director - Heather Dow
  • Cathleen Ferguson - President

Presentation of past executive members’ pin -  Cathleen Ferguson, President
Presentation of past president’s pin to Cathleen Ferguson by Barbara Mushayandebvu
Transfer of Chain of Office to Barbara Mushayandebvu, ORNAC President Elect
Introduction of 2017 – 2019 Executive
Award Presentations - Anita Esson, Awards Chair
Introduction of 2019 National Conference – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Closing Remarks - Barbara Mushayandebvu, ORNAC President

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