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AORN Blog - The Periop Life

How to Create a Culture of Success in Your OR

How to Create a Culture of Success in Your OR

February 24, 2021

Commit to being better, every single day.

This is a lesson pro-basketball player and business coach Walter Bond has learned through experience. He says the first step to being better, for all professionals, is staying focused on the “why.”

“If our 'why' is not right, this is when we get distracted and discouraged,” Bond cautions. “For a nurse with so much influence, your 'why' is patient care—helping someone heal and being a resource to colleagues to help them in their own practice.”

When a nurse is not focused on his or her “why,” their message is unclear and can prevent them from connecting with patients and colleagues in meaningful ways.

On the flip side, when a nurse is focused on the “why,” they seek out opportunities to always be improving, whether it’s through direct patient care or seeking out education and professional development.

Being Better

After your “why” is in focus, Bond suggests working on this one key action for daily improvement: be honest and authentic.

“You have to be authentic about what you are good at and what you need to improve,” he says.

As a pro-athlete you need to get bigger, stronger, and faster through hard work and diligence and the same is true for nurses, Bond suggests. “Your court is attending conferences and earning continuing education to constantly be building your practice knowledge and upping your game.”

Be honest about where you need to improve, he advises. “Honesty is an important way to stay open to learning more, whether you are a novice nurse or have years of practice experience.”

Advancing the Team

Just as in basketball, or any team sport, nurses are impact players, because their single actions influence the colleagues they work with, Bond stresses.

“You see this in the game your colleagues bring to work—if they are critical or negative, this impacts other members of the team. However, when a team member is positive, supportive, and exudes a sense of camaraderie and self-improvement, this encourages other members of the team to do the same.”

He says being a member of a team requires daily self-reflection to check yourself and the attitude you bring. “The real question is: ‘Are you a leader who impacts positive change?’”

When your answer is “yes,” you motivate others to be better, too, and this focus on being better is what separates average from extraordinary, Bond says. “As a nurse, there is no excuse to be anything less than extraordinary, for your patients, your colleagues, and yourself.”

Bond also advocates a formal mentoring program for nurses to strengthen the team and build the next generation of players. “There is no better way than mentoring to build others up and improve yourself in the process.”

Looking for more ways to elevate your professional surgical game and build the success of your OR team? Make time to attend Bond’s general session at Global Surgical Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL August 7-10, 2021.