My day begins at 5:45 a.m. sharp when I walk from pre-op to PACU to check on everything from medical gases to medications. Here’s the mental checklist I complete during the morning rounds in order to maintain a safe environment for my staff and our patients.
- OR temps and humidity levels are within acceptable ranges.
- Medical gases levels are adequate.
- Refrigerators and freezers where medications are stored maintained their temperatures overnight.
- OR doors are fully closed, not propped open.
- Electronic access doors are functioning properly.
- Hallways are clear of obstructions.
- Fire extinguishers are easily accessible.
- Crash carts have been tested and are fully stocked.
- All lights within the department are on and are working properly.
- Cords in ORs are out of walking pathways or safely covered.
- Sharps containers aren't filled to capacity.
- Headcovers, shoe covers, face masks and eye shields are readily available.
- Hand soap and antiseptic dispensers are full.
My morning routine takes me around 15 minutes to complete. Afterward, during our department’s morning huddle, I alert the perioperative team of any safety breaches I discovered and discuss ways we’ll manage the issues until they’re fixed. The staff also sees that I walk the talk when it comes to one of my favorite mottos: “You see it, you own it.”
Charmaine Keeling, RN
miVIP Surgery Centers
Las Vegas (Nev.) Regional Surgery Center