Nurse continuing education courses
Find a course that’s tailored to your professional development below. Refer to each individual course for credit affiliation and contact hour fulfillment.
Empowering your career begins by educating yourself. We’re committed to supporting you with access to industry-leading training that translates into world-class care for your patients.
Find a course that’s tailored to your professional development below. Refer to each individual course for credit affiliation and contact hour fulfillment.
Hospitals and acute clinical settings are environments where focus is crucial for health care workers and quiet is crucial for patients; however, these environments are also the places where quiet is least likely to be experienced. When patients, family members, and health care personnel step into any busy hospital it is inevitable that they will be confronted with an array of clinical alarm sounds. Nurses and other members of the perioperative team are surrounded by them from the beginning of their shift to the end whether they work on an inpatient OR, an outpatient ambulatory surgery setting, a postanesthesia unit, a preoperative holding area, or a procedural or interventional radiology environment. This activity is designed to provide perioperative nurses with information about the critical nature of noise pollution and fatigue related to clinical alarms, the potentially harrowing outcomes as a result of becoming desensitized to alarms, and the strategies to mitigate risks related to excessive noise that are being implemented in the health care industry. Specifically, this program will present the consequences of increased noise and distractions while providing direct patient care in the perioperative setting. The consequences of turning off clinical alarm systems in the perioperative setting will also be discussed. Key components related to effective noise management and interventions related to reducing noise pollution and alarm fatigue will also be identified.
In all surgical practice settings, reducing the risk of infection for patients and occupational exposure to blood and other infectious material for staff members are ongoing concerns today. Exposure to fluid waste can increase the risk for infection and other adverse events for both patients and members of the surgical team. Significant advancements have also been made in the technology of evacuation devices, including suctioning systems that effectively remove hazardous fluid. Therefore, all members of the perioperative team should be aware of the risks associated with exposure to blood and body fluids in the operating room (OR) and the need to implement measures to effectively evacuate them to provide a safe environment of care for both patients and staff. Fluid waste evacuation equipment can facilitate safety only if it is set up correctly, functioning properly, and used appropriately. This continuing education activity will provide fundamental information related to the hazards associated with occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious fluids and the importance of its proper handling and disposal. The various types of medical waste produced by health care facilities will be reviewed. Current collection and disposal methods for fluid waste will be outlined, followed by a discussion of the hazards associated with occupational exposure to blood, body fluids, and other potentially hazardous materials. Finally, current regulations, guidelines, and recommendations related to proper handling of fluid waste will be discussed.
Perioperative team members work in a fast-paced, demanding environment where they need to be flexible and ready to anticipate new challenges at any time. The composition of the team can vary from those who provide direct care in the operating room (OR), to those who provide direct care in the preoperative or postanesthesia care units, to those providing direct care for “on call” shifts, as well as those who provide support for the direct caregivers by processing and packaging instruments in the sterile processing area or present instructions for use for new equipment or technologies. Relationships and communications can breakdown under stressful circumstances. This continuing education activity will provide a brief review of how people who work in teams can increase their effectiveness by incorporating useful strategies into their daily experiences. An overview of group dynamics that team members often experience as they work together will be discussed. The factors that contribute to diversity in teams will be presented. Examples of strategies that can be used to enhance teamwork will also be discussed.
Conflict is a natural occurrence in human relationships and when allowed to linger, will require mitigation and resolution strategies. Interdisciplinary conflicts, team-based conflicts, and inter-departmental conflicts can range from simple disagreements or complex, toxic disputes that result in pain and sometimes violence. This continuing education activity will differentiate the types of conflicts that are found in the workplace and present examples of conflicts specific to the perioperative setting. Options for responding to conflict will be identified and steps that can be taken to resolve conflict will be discussed. By seeking to understand the causes and dynamic nature of conflict, members of the perioperative team can navigate disagreements more effectively.
Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) are significant occupational hazards and represent a source of lost days from work, work-related emergency department visits, as well as direct and indirect costs for both the employer and healthcare worker; they can also adversely affect patient care. STFs are particular concerns in the operating room (OR), due to numerous factors inherent to this practice setting. This continuing education activity will present a review of the statistics regarding work-related STFs. The perioperative hazards that contribute to STFs in the OR will be described. Preventive measures, with a focus on best practices in OR layout, design, and equipment choices that can help minimize the risks for STFs will be discussed. Finally, the applicable Joint Commission standards and Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) recommended practices will be outlined.
With all the focus on boosting the quality of care in hospitals, other problems that unknowingly impact outcomes may fall through the cracks – such as clutter. Clutter creates obstructions in entryways and hallways as well as on the floor. Ignoring this issue can cause serious consequences because clutter can threaten patient safety, cause accidents, compromise body mechanics, or make work inefficient for health care professionals.
Slip, trip, and fall (STF) incidents can be related to workplace clutter and can frequently result in serious disabling injuries that impact a health care employee’s ability to do his or her job. Lost workdays, reduced productivity, expensive worker compensation claims, and diminished ability to effectively care for patients can often be the result of STF incidents. A STF that disables a health care worker in one of the perioperative areas is expensive in terms of both direct and indirect costs; however, a disabling fall in the OR may also adversely affect a patient. For example, a fall in the operating room (OR), ambulatory surgery center, cardiac catheterization laboratories, or endoscopy suite may directly injure a patient, disrupt the procedure, lead to surgical errors, and delay the current and subsequent surgical procedures. For these reasons, it is critical that all perioperative staff members remain aware of department clutter and the factors that contribute to STFs and implement best practices to reduce the associated hazards to provide the safest possible environment of care for both patients and staff.
As the practice of surgery continues to evolve, so do the type and complexity of the surgical instrumentation; powered surgical equipment is one example of the sophisticated instrumentation needed to support advanced surgical techniques. The proper use of the various types of powered surgical instruments available today in order to promote patient safety and prevent postoperative infections is the shared responsibility of many, including central service personnel, biomedical technologists, and all members of the surgical team. Therefore, it is important that perioperative personnel who participate in orthopaedic procedures understand how the proper use of battery powered and electrical surgical instruments promote positive patient outcomes. This educational activity will provide a review of the historical evolution of powered surgical equipment. The component parts basic to the various types of powered surgical instruments and equipment will be presented. Recent safety issues associated with lithium ion batteries will be reviewed. The clinical considerations related to bone sensitivity to heat; key aspects of cutting, sawing, drilling, rasping, and pin driving; as well as blade and bur characteristics associated with the use of powered surgical instruments will be discussed. Finally, general guidelines and additional considerations for the safe use and handling of powered surgical instruments, including the importance of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) service contracts, reuse, and reprocessing aspects of accessories will be outlined.
Surgical smoke plume is pervasive in the daily lives of all healthcare workers in the operating room (OR) practice setting. This continuing education activity will provide a review of the dangers of exposure to surgical smoke plume as well as effective strategies to minimize this exposure in the OR. The contents of and hazards associated with surgical smoke plume will be reviewed. Current regulations, guidelines, and recommended practices related to evacuation of surgical smoke will be outlined, focusing on risk reduction strategies. The various types of smoke evacuation systems available today will be described, including the key criteria in the evaluation and section of a smoke evacuation system. Finally, the clinical implications of failure to comply with surgical smoke evacuation guidelines will be discussed, followed by a list of tools to facilitate compliance.
2 contact hours
Surgical tourniquets are used frequently in operative procedures on the extremities to control bleeding and optimize visualization. If used properly, surgical tourniquets are safe and invaluable tools, as they facilitate improved patient outcomes by reducing blood loss as well as operating time. However, the incorrect use of these devices is associated with potential complications and preventable damage due to various factors such as over-pressurization and prolonged inflation time. This continuing education activity will present an overview of the potential problems and complications associated with the use of surgical tourniquets. It will include a discussion of professional practice guidelines for the safe use of surgical tourniquets, including the determination of patient-specific arterial occlusion pressure. The key considerations of pneumatic tourniquet system components, including the various types of cuffs available today, as they relate to patient safety will be reviewed.
The sterile processing of instruments, devices, and items is a significant part of infection control in health care practice. This activity will explore the importance of infection prevention and its impact on patient outcomes. The proper steps and key clinical considerations for instrument cleaning and decontamination will be reviewed. The differences between sterilization and high-level disinfection will be discussed. Different methods of sterilization will be defined and the significance of sterilization monitoring as it impacts patient outcomes will also be included. Finally, current guidelines and recommended practices for proper decontamination and sterilization of these devices will be outlined.
The health care sector generates a tremendous amount of waste on a daily basis. By reducing upstream and downstream environmental impacts of health care service delivery, hospitals and health systems are adopting triple bottom line practices because of the triple return on investment with improved financial performance (ie, profit), reduced environmental impact (ie, planet) and improved community and population health (ie, people). A multi-disciplinary project team and environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) criteria and practices are critical in the successful implementation of reprocessing and other triple bottom line practices. As health care leaders address environmental determinants of human health, the operating room (OR) is considered the epicenter of triple bottom line efficiency with opportunities for change in waste management and supply chain practices. This education program will identify strategies for reducing waste that is generated in the OR. Safety considerations related to reprocessed medical devices will be reviewed and guidelines for reprocessing reusable medical devices will be discussed. Strategies for purchasing products that cause the least environmental harm during manufacture, use, and disposal will also be discussed.
2 contact hours
Working in the Operating Room (OR) requires highly skilled staff members to coordinate and deliver the care necessary to surgically treat a wide variety of patients. The OR staff works in an intense, fast-paced, rapidly changing and technically advanced health care environment to safely perform surgical procedures. This rapidly changing environment presents continual challenges in the form of newly recognized pathogens and microorganisms that have become resistant to current treatment modalities and can greatly affect patient and worker safety. In the perioperative setting, good infection prevention and control is essential to ensure that patients who undergo any surgical procedure receive safe and effective care. Protecting patients and healthcare practitioners from potentially infectious agent transmission is a primary focus of perioperative registered nurses in the OR. There are many ways to achieve the goal of protection from infection transmission. This continuing education activity examines the role of personal protective equipment (PPE) and specifically surgical helmet systems in achieving patient and health care (HC) worker safety and lowering infection transmission and cross contamination through successful implementation of best practices based upon current recommendations and guidelines.
A responsibility of the perioperative registered nurse is to keep all surgical patients free from injury due to extraneous objects, including surgical sponges and towels. While perioperative nurses and other members of the surgical team sign off “the final count is correct” on a daily basis, current evidence consistently identifies incidence of retained surgical items (RSIs) despite reports of a correct sponge count. Retained surgical items continue to have serious clinical, economic, and legal ramifications creating a call to action to rectify practices prone to error. Today, several considerations, including rising malpractice costs, new federal payment penalties, new quality frameworks, patient safety report cards, as well as heightened public awareness, may be leaving health care providers with little choice but to act effectively to prevent the occurrence of RSIs. An overwhelming amount of clinical evidence shows that manual counting of sponges – even when carried out under evidence-based guidelines – often fails due to human error and other factors and therefore is unreliable when used as the primary mechanism to avoid RSIs. Little has changed for perioperative nurses in their “mission critical” job of counting until adjunct technologies became available in 2006.
Today, these technologies provide useful tools to supplement the manual counting process to not only achieve accurate counts, but validate them as well, thereby providing the path to zero RSIs. The purpose of this continuing education activity is to provide information that will support all members of the surgical team in providing a safer surgical experience through enhanced awareness of the technologies available to prevent RSIs and validate manual sponge counts. The incidence of RSI and the impact on patient outcomes, including the Sentinel Event Alert issued by The Joint Commission in October 2013, will be discussed. The economic implications, including the impact of federal payment reforms and other initiatives that are part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be explored. The legal ramifications for perioperative personnel will be outlined. The problems associated with manual count procedures, including the impact of incorrect or failed counts, will be described. Finally, the various adjunct technologies available today, with a focus on a system that can document and validate manual counts, will be reviewed.
“My customers who attended the SSA in Pittsburgh are raving about it. A few of them said they attend “many AORN events” and this one was first class, and very educational!
Thought you’d like to hear that! Thanks for putting this together.”
Stryker Sales Rep, Pennsylvania
“I wanted to thank everyone for their assistance with the Vicksburg Middle School Science Night. It was a huge success. Both kids and parents said we were the best presentation (and most crowded) of the evening. This is saying a lot when there was a live alligator for the kids to hold.”
“On behalf of the midtown OR staff this presentation is phenomenal. It really enriched our knowledge about suction and its entities. Thank you and we look forward for another one next year.”
“I wanted to thank you for inviting me to the education program with Stryker. It was quality education and I look forward to attending next year. Thank you.”
Donna, RN, BSN, MSM, CNOR