October 18, 2018


By: OR Manager

Attendees of the 2018 OR Manager Conference likely went home feeling inspired and recharged, but it can be hard to hold onto that enthusiasm over time. Our conference highlights article (cover) may jog their memories and, we hope, will reinvigorate their passion to excel as leaders.

Every OR Manager Conference offers a rich mix of innovative ideas and practical advice. The insights into human resource issues delivered by our keynote speakers were especially valuable. I’m confident that OR leaders who heard them will benefit both personally and professionally from their recommendations.


First time’s a charm

All of the 2018 OR Manager award recipients were first-time attendees, and it’s safe to say that this conference won’t be their last.

Sharon Udy-Janczuk, MSN, RN, CNOR, NE-BC, recipient of the OR Manager of the Year Award and director of perioperative services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, found the conference filled with highly inspirational and motivational speakers. She recognizes the value of attending “a national gathering of positive perioperative leaders, all aspiring to make a difference to their organizations, departments, and staff in caring for surgical patients.”

Udy-Janczuk says she would highly recommend the conference to her perioperative team and hopes to attend next year. “Sessions provide the opportunity to connect with experts in the field and appreciate that many of our challenges as perioperative leaders transcend states and organizations,” she says.

“It was extremely valuable to hear solutions to some of the challenges we face in day-to-day operations,” says Natasha Luster, MSN, RN, CNOR. Luster, nurse manager at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, received the Emerging Leader Award. “The keynote speakers were so inspirational. I left the conference feeling rejuvenated, inspired, positive, and ready to conquer our challenges,” she says.

Belinda James, BSN, RN, recipient of the Ambulatory Services Achievement Award, agrees: “So many times you attend a conference, and the sessions are not up to par,” she says. “The breakout sessions I attended were all excellent.” James, OR manager at the Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gulf Breeze, Florida, particularly liked a session on creating a culture of safety.


Other reasons to return

Casey Orth-Nebitt, BSN, RN, director of surgery at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake, Iowa, has attended the conference for the past 3 years. She received the Emerging Leader Award in 2017 and joined the OR Manager Editorial Advisory Board in 2018.

“I am from a smaller hospital, but surgical teams have the same problems, no matter size of the hospital or the volume of patients that they treat,” Orth-Nebitt says. “So there were things that I could relate to in every session.”

She noted that the Joint Commission Survey workshop, presented by John Rosing, MHA, FACHE, provided very specific information on what surveyors look for in the OR and sterile processing.

“That is one of the great things about OR Manager conferences—the information you get is specific to your department. At hospital-wide meetings, you get a lot of information that is specific to med-surg units instead of crucial surgical information that you need.”

As a newer OR leader, Orth-Nebitt especially appreciated the “Ask Me Anything” panel discussion during which veteran leaders answered attendees’ questions on topics such as incivility, mentoring, and change fatigue.

“The wealth of experience on the panel and the opportunity to ask them questions was so valuable. The session gave us some excellent tactics to think outside of the box,” she says.

“The OR Manager Conference brings in leaders who are actively working and have just completed a new initiative in their organization, and they want to help you, too,” she adds. “There is so much great information that I wish I could articulate, but you just have to experience it firsthand!”


Planning for 2019

Each year during the conference, the OR Manager Editorial Advisory Board meets to discuss topics for articles and presentations. This annual planning helps propel changes we believe will increase the value of both the conference and the publication.

Some of their suggestions that have improved OR Manager include:

• the “Related Articles” list that provides a quick reference to other OR Manager articles on the same topic

• the “Success Stories” section that presents process improvements, cost-saving initiatives, or innovative educational programs at facilities around the country

• the increased focus on leadership skills, competencies for OR managers and their staffs, and succession/retention strategies to bolster the ranks of emerging leaders.

Our editorial advisors are invested in helping us produce high-quality content and education for the OR Manager community. Some of them also serve on the conference program committee, so there’s a lot of cross-pollination of ideas and continuity between the educational sessions and our articles.

In mid-November the program committee will review proposals and brainstorm about topics and speakers for the 2019 conference. Whether you’re a repeat attendee or a potential first-time attendee, the committee would welcome your thoughts. Please send your proposal or any suggestions for workshops and sessions to our program conference manager, Taylor McCarthy, at tmccarthy@accessintel.com.

We would also welcome your feedback on OR Manager articles and OR a.m., our daily e-newsletter. Tell us what you think! And if you’re ever inclined to share an experience at your facility, we are always happy to consider contributed articles. Please contact me at ewood@accessintel.com. ✥

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