Training of Operating Room Staff in Endoscopic Surgery

Article Conference Coverage - AAGL 2004

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Wendy Winer, RN: Hi, I am Wendy Winer. I am a nurse and my specialty is working with endoscopic surgery. I work with Dr. Tom Lyons in Atlanta, Georgia, as a first assistant in surgery and I am very, very devoted to education of nurses and the whole operating room team with regard to laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, in particular, in gynecology.

Here at the AAGL, we are very excited this year because we have revamped our entire nursing education program and we did an entire day of training for OR personnel. It was very well-attended and there was lots of enthusiasm. We are really excited and encouraged because what we want is a comprehensive training place where nurses can come to a meeting and really get a little bit of everything. The things we are focusing on are the roles of the operating team when it comes to GYN and laparoscopy. The reason for this is in order for the physician to be their very best, they really need an efficient team and particularly their nurses, their surgical technicians and everybody in the room. Fortunately, with laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, thanks to the cameras and monitors we have now, everyone in the room is really part of the procedure and we want the operating room personnel to learn everything there is, from anatomy to the procedure, from the set-up to the instrumentation and equipment, so that we can provide the most efficient set-up for the physician. That way, the physician can really focus on the surgery itself.

All of this is geared so that we can provide patients with the best possible care. We have so much wonderful technology, but the only way patients are really going to benefit from this is if the physician can use this great technology and all of this instrumentation and new equipment safely. We really want to protect our patients by training the nurses, as well as the physicians, in the efficient use of all of these new energy sources we are hearing about and all of the exciting instrumentation and things that are available. What we are doing is focusing on training the nurses and the OR techs with regard to anatomy, safety, energy sources, pre-op care, inter-operative care and post-op care. Everybody needs to work together as a team and it is important that the nurses take good care of the patients pre-operatively - making sure the informed consent is signed properly, any medical conditions the patient has - and that carries over into the operating room itself and patient positioning - safely placing the pad if you are using the monopolar, knowing the proper settings, knowing how all of the equipment works, making sure all of the instrumentation is cleaned properly and sterile, so many different things. It is so important to make sure the whole OR team is trained properly. Just as important is after the procedure is over - safe movement of the patient over to the bed and that carries over, of course, into the PACU area so that the nurses in the PACU understand the procedures, as well.

Our goal here is to provide the best possible and most comprehensive training for everybody in the room and all of the OR personnel, in particular. We are very excited about our program. We have lots of support from AAGL from the board and officers and we have been given a real shot in the arm. We hope that you will participate with us. Feel free to email me at  and we would love for you to get involved and hopefully we will see you at our meeting next year.

Thanks very much.

Note: For more information on the training program please see

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