Education and Quality Coordinator for Surgical Services
Providence Portland Medical Center
I have been an Operating Room Nurse for 16 years, where I began my nursing career in the OR RN Residency at Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, after graduating from Pacific Lutheran University with my BSN in 2004. After the nine month residency program, I circulated in the OR on a variety of shifts, mostly evenings, from 2004-2009. Being a Level 2 Trauma hospital, I had the opportunity to learn and circulate a variety of specialties, precept new OR RNs going through our residency program, was on the first robotics team in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and performed charge nurse responsibilities within two years of being a circulator.
I went back to school at the University of Washington Tacoma, in 2007, to pursue my Masters in Nursing Education, as I found a deep love of teaching nursing students and other nurses about what a circulator does in the operating room setting. In 2009, I graduated with my MN in Nursing Education and I applied and was hired into the Educator position for Multicare Health Systems. My responsibilities in this new role was to cover the operating room education for all 7 of the hospitals under this organization. I was able to network and collaborate with multiple leadership teams and OR staff when coordinating education, meeting regulatory requirements, assisting with the high school outreach program our hospital started, performing OR RN Residencies and having the pleasure of being a part of several interdisciplinary teams .
In 2012, I accepted an offer to work at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. I took the role of Education and Quality Coordinator for Surgical Services and am still working here at present. I have many responsibilities in this role, including making an Annual Department Education Plan, creating, reviewing and developing the weekly education, skill competencies and policies, mentoring staff who are in our Clinical Ladder Program and participating in several projects, meetings, committees and task forces at the department, facility and regional levels. I am in charge of the orientation process for all new hires, making sure we meet regulatory needs and onboarding requirements for competencies and training.
I have really enjoyed the path my OR career has taken me, where I have participated in a variety of amazing opportunities and worn many hats of responsibilities. I am the author of an AORN Journal Article, accepted and printed in the July 2008 publication. I have been a Laser Safety Officer for the past 13 years. I was extremely involved in the Washington State Council of Perioperative Nurses (WSCPN), where I was the President Elect in 2013, President in 2014 and Past-President in 2015. I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Providence Health System team who outlined, built and finalized a system OR RN Residency/Consortium Curriculum, which can be used by any of our System hospitals. I am part of a collaborative team of OR Educators for the Oregon region for our hospital organization, where we collectively teach an OR RN Residency/Consotrium Program, in order to share the work load, as well as, meet organization staffing needs. Our team submitted an AORN Poster Presentation, on our Consortium process and learnings, where is was accepted for posting at the 2018 Expo .
Currently, I am on the Mount Hood Community College Advisory Board for the Surgical Tech Program, I have been the Chair of the AORN National Education E-Chapter Committee since April 2019, continuing in this role for the 2020 year.
Regarding my topic of interest to submit for an Educational Presentation, in the last four years, my organization has followed the Donna Wright model of education, where I have found the ability to have more creativity with how to present the education to staff in a variety of formats. I have included models that mirror the popular quiz or game formats of Jeopardy Game and Pictionary. In addition, working with our brilliant simulation department, we have been able to provide comprehensive Mock Code and Fire Drill/Code Red Simulation scenarios for our department staff to practice emergency responses. Other creative education avenues, such as Escape Rooms, have been developed to review both basic skills or information, as well as a Fire Drill review, to create an engaging environment of smaller groups, providing team building and critical thinking opportunities. The simulations and group activity exercises take a lot of time and planning to put together education, which is effective and hits the goals of the information and training. Therefore, the challenge of creating other education, utilizing other options in the Donna Wright model, has been fun to try to create interactive sections to keep the audience engaged. An example would be a storyboard presentation, where there are items on a the board itself that requires staff to engage in the learning by lifting a flap, turning a dial, pulling out the answer from a sleeve or slot, moving magnets to the correct location, etc. It has been fun to challenge our staff to think outside the box and creatively, when they have a storyboard presentation they are doing for their clinical ladder.
I am extremely passionate about providing up-to-date education in a fun, interactive fashion and passing my operating room nurse knowledge onto the next generation.