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AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Rural Iowa Hospital Becomes 100th Go Clear Award™ Program Recipient

Go Clear Award Recipients

Top row (L to R): Tracey Henderson, BSN, RN, Shawn Tulp, CRNA, Jacob Studer, RN, Lisa VanDeer, RN, CNOR, Alison Keane, BSN, RN, CNOR, LeAnn Timm, RN, CNOR; Bottom row (L to R): Ashley McBride, CNA, Jackie Loux, RN, Robin Meyer, BSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA, Dr. Gayette Grimm, MD


November 25, 2020

Robin Meyer, BSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA, a surgery clinic manager with Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City, IA recently led her team to become the 100th surgical team to receive the AORN Go Clear Award™. The journey to this key designation began for Meyer after attending a continuing education session on the dangers of surgical smoke at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2019 in Nashville, TN.

Meyer, who has been a surgical nurse for over 37 years and has been working for Van Diest Medical Center for the past nine years. “We don’t get a lot of sales representatives out here, so I rely on my time at Expo to connect with reps, get hands-on continuing education, and connect with my peers,” says Meyers.

After hearing more about the dangers of surgical smoke and the Go Clear Award program, she knew something needed to change at her facility. She also knew her chances of convincing her organization were good. Meyer describes her team as “hungry for education and best-practices-oriented” and shared that 80% of the nurses are CNOR certified, and they’re aiming for 100% by the end of 2021.

Go Clear Tools Engage Administrators

Meyer recommends using the Go Clear Award program’s tools when formally presenting the dangers of surgical smoke to administrators, board members, and surgeons. They helped her articulate how the dangers of surgical smoke affect both the OR team and patients. From there, she brought in various sales representatives to demonstrate their surgical smoke evacuation products. Meyer said she was fortunate because her general surgeon was recently involved in addressing this growing health concern at another facility and was an advocate fully supporting the effort.

The team officially started the program in fall 2019, when the healthcare scene was exceedingly different than it is today. Meyer recalls how user-friendly the program was: “It allowed our team to learn at their own pace and we all knew the main benefit of the program was creating a smoke-free surgical environment.”

OR Team Pushed Through COVID-19 Challenges

Fast-forward to this past March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Most of the staff was furloughed for three months. But once everyone was back in the OR, the team persisted and continued the program with a renewed passion and within a year of starting, they became the 100th Go Clear Award Program Recipient at the Gold Level. Meyer’s entire team was involved in making it happen. She recalls one of her teammates, who has served with the military, stating after they earned the designation that he “no longer feels like I’m on the battlefield again.”

Meyer recommends learning more about the Go Clear Award Program to help your team go surgical smoke-free. You can also get involved in AORN’s surgical smoke legislative efforts and help turn your entire state smoke-free.

AORN Go Clear Award - Surgical Smoke-Free Recognition Program

Learn more about how the Go Clear Award Program can help your team go surgical smoke-free.