Guidelines Workshops


Karen deKay, MSN, RN, CNOR, CIC

Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist

Karen has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, working primarily in the perioperative arena, education, and infection control. She is certified in perioperative nursing, as well as infection prevention and control, two credentials which allowed her to lead a system-wide Robust Process Improvement project to standardize and implement surgical and sterile processing best practices at a large healthcare system in Texas.

The AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice have always been the foundation of her practice, so in 2017 when the opportunity to work at AORN to help develop these guidelines came about, she made the move to Denver to be part of the AORN Nursing Practice team. She is a Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist and has been the lead revision author of the AORN Guideline for Environmental Cleaning, Preoperative Patient Skin Antisepsis and Hand Hygiene She is currently working on revision of Surgical Attire.

Karen serves as the AORN representative for the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), has authored several “Clinical Issues” columns in the AORN Journal, and has provided presentations for the Colorado APIC chapter on infection prevention in the perioperative environment. She has also collaborated with SHEA on the 2022 Update to Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-associated Infections through Hand Hygiene and with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Healthcare Standards Institute (HSI) to develop performance standards for germicidal light whole-room surface disinfection in the operating room which will provide perioperative RNs and managers with a standardized evaluation tool to assist in provision of safe patient care.

In her spare time, she enjoys bike riding and hiking in the great Colorado outdoors, visiting wineries, spoiling her two grandchildren and shopping for bargains.