Skip Navigation LinksHome > Blogs > Operating Opinions
Operating Opinions
A forum for discussion on recent news regarding OR nurses.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Hospitals are increasingly utilizing 3D printers. Surgeons are now using these devices to prepare life-sized replicas of their patients' organs (hearts in particular) in order to prepare for surgery. These 3D-printed heart models are comprised of various silicone gels (as opposed to powder) and match an actual heart's texture and inner workings.

This innovation is revolutionary, as it allows surgeons to go over their techniques in a "test run" prior to performing a complicated procedure on the patient. In addition, it helps train new surgeons who may not have real-time experience operating on a given organ.

What are your thoughts on 3D printers? How else do you think they will change the face of operating rooms and surgery in the future?

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Piggybacking on the last post, I'd like to discuss technology and its role in healthcare a bit further. It is no doubt that the majority of patients and healthcare providers use smartphones on a daily basis. That being said, there are several medical apps out there – perpetually under FDA regulatory scrutiny – that can help facilitate providing healthcare for clinicians and patients. Here are some of the apps I think may benefit you and/or your patients:

Campbell's Orthopedics allows users to navigate through 242 techniques and over 1,000 corresponding images; view almost 20 procedure videos, bookmark techniques for later reference, and a search index that allows quick location of any technique.

Touch Surgery provides surgical training for everyone. A process called cognitive task simulation breaks down each operation into individual, fundamental steps and decision-points. Developed by surgeons, the app also lets users test themselves.

AO Surgery Reference is a comprehensive resource that contains a wealth of information regarding all aspects of trauma management. It detials surgical management processes from diagnosis to aftercare for all fractures of any given region. The app was developed by the AO Foundation.

First Aid puts expert advice in the hands of its non-clinical users. Created by the American Red Cross, the app gives instant access for common first aid emergencies with videos, quizzes, and step-by-step advice in urgent situations.

AHRQ ePSS provides OR nurses and other clinicians with decision-making support regarding appropriate screenings, counseling, and preventive services for patients based on current evidenced-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Here are a few non-medical apps that can be useful for clinicians and health professional students:

Noteability is a note-taking app that lets you import any type of document (Microsoft Office) and mark it up. Textbooks can also be placed in the app and highlighted/marked up. In addition, users can also import photos and record audio/video.

Quizlet is an app that allows you to make virtual, double-sided note cards, which can help users study for exams.

Dropbox/Google Drive are cloud storage services that allow users to place and/or share any type of file; the files (Word Document, PDF, etc.) are placed online and can be accessed or shared with colleagues later.

These are just a few of the many apps out there to help us in our daily routines. What apps are you using as an OR nurse, and what apps do you recommend to your patients if any?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

As the use of technology advances, more and more devices will undoubtedly find their way into operating rooms (ORs) to help optimize the experience for patients and healthcare
professionals alike. Google Glass, a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (resembling prescription glasses), displays information in a hands-free format. Although still in its infancy, the wearable device has already been adopted by many healthcare professionals around the country.

At a basic level, Google Glass can help free up surgeons and OR nurses from having to perform simple yet time-consuming tasks by synching patient information with their electronic health record via pictures and videos taken directly from the device, eliminating the need to write anything. The images and recordings (with the patient's permission) can be reviewed later or sent to other surgeons or physicians for diagnosis and collaboration.

Here's an example of one of the many surgeons who have adopted Google Glass into their practice. What are your thoughts on the practicality of such a device in the OR?

Thursday, April 03, 2014
There are many patients who assume that surgical procedures go through the same (or similar) testing and government approval processes as prescription drugs. Developers certainly test new surgical procedures/devices, and the healthcare professionals who are to use them are trained accordingly. In addition, the FDA must approve these devices' safety before they are implemented into a practical setting.

Unfortunately, surgical techniques are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as prescription drugs. And in a similar manner to prescription drugs, any issues with new procedures/devices may not be noticed until after they've been used regularly.

For example, uterine fibroids are treated with a technique known as power (or electric) morcellation. This technique is more efficient, as it requires a small incision (sometimes none), is less painful, and has a faster recovery period. However, recent studies have shown that power morcellation can lead to serious complications, which can be fatal in certain instances. Health issues generally arise months or years later if fragments of tissue seed onto other organs.

What are your thoughts on approval processes for surgical procedures and devices? Please feel free to share your opinion.


Friday, December 13, 2013
Are you thinking of jumping into the world of medical publishing but just don't know where to begin? If so, we wanted to use this post to address some of the main steps when you're beginning to write. Our goal is to make sure that any aspiring authors out there interested in writing for us have the necessary tools and information to be successful.
  • First, choose a topic that you're both familiar and comfortable with.
  • Next, go through previous OR Nurse issues to gain an understanding on how to present your information.
  • Establish a strong intro, body, and conclusion (use case studies if needed).
  • Make sure that the information used is evidence-based and has been published within the past 5 years.
  • Submit your manuscript here.
That wasn't so painful now, was it? Let us know if you have any comments or questions. We're looking forward to your submissions!
About the Author

Elizabeth M. Thompson
Elizabeth M. Thompson is the Editor-In-Chief of OR Nurse 2012. She is also a Nursing Education Specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Blogs Archive