June 28, 2022

Engaging student nurses to prime the OR nurse pump: Part 2

By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN

Generating student interest in the OR can help OR leaders fill staffing gaps. For example, Debra Sparks, MSM, BSN, RN, CNOR, director of regional perioperative services for The Metro Health System in Cleveland, Ohio, has hired nurses who spent time in the organization as part of their university-based OR coursework as students. “We give [students] a good overview of what the nurse is responsible for in the operating room,” Sparks says. Students have hands-on experience, such as starting IVs, participating in huddles, learning how to scrub, and spending time in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). These experiences can shorten orientation time, in one case, as much as by 3 months, Sparks says.

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