AORN's Nurses - Why We Love What We Do

Publish Date: November 6, 2016


AORN's Perioperative Nurses

In honor of Perioperative Nurse Week, we asked a few of AORN’s perioperative nurses who are speaking at our upcoming Global Surgical Conference and Expo in Boston next April to share why they love what they do.

“I love being a perioperative nurse because I can be the professional a patient counts on when they’re their most vulnerable. I’ve been that patient, my family has been that patient, even my newborn baby was that patient, and I know how much it means to have a dedicated professional perioperative nurse giving you their undivided attention. The OR is my heart; I fell in love with this amazing profession, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Amber Wood, MSN, RN, CNOR, CIC, FAPIC
Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist


“I could write a full-length dissertation on what I love about my job, but I will give you the top five reasons. The first reason is I’m able to help patients receive better care. The guidelines I help write go directly into the hands of the care givers. The next thing I love is the fact that, just like in an OR, every day there is a tremendous amount of variety. The third reason is I work with a great team of experts. Reason four is I serve on committees such as those who help write the construction guidelines. The fifth reason is I’m able to interact with so many professional members of the perioperative team and I’m so proud of what they do.”

Byron L. Burlingame, MS, RN, CNOR
Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist


“I love working at AORN because my passion is patient safety and our mission is to promote safety and optimal outcomes for patients. My sister experienced a wrong site surgery and it was an experience that I will never forget so I am a huge proponent for keeping patients safe and preventing events like that from happening. Not many nurses know that the perioperative nurses who work at AORN represent all periop nurses at the national level and we are their voice with many institutions such as the CDC, FDA, the Joint Commission, CMS, and state health departments. I love that we can represent nursing and demonstrate the power that nurses have, and the influence we have to promote our role in patient safety.”

Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN
Director of Evidence-Based Perioperative Practice


“I love answering the Clinical Consult line and helping nurses interpret and find the best way to implement our recommendations. Some days it’s only a matter of reassurance that they’re doing the correct thing. When I talk with one nurse, I know my answer may help all of her patients in the future.”

“Also, I enjoy providing perioperative nurses and the entire team with evidence-based recommendations to provide optimum care for all surgical patients. For example with the sharps safety guideline, the evidence is overwhelming that double gloving can reduce the incidence of a needle stick. By double-gloving the periop team not only protects themselves but patients as well.”

Mary J. Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR
Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist


“I had the privilege of being a perioperative nurse for over 36 years before coming to AORN. As a perioperative nurse, I loved being a manager of the patient’s care and being an advocate for my patient. I loved the complexity and variety of surgical procedures, the organization, critical thinking, and efficiency required to work in the perioperative arena, and I especially loved the camaraderie of the surgical team.”

“I also loved being the last person my patient saw before going to sleep and being the first person they saw after they woke up. For the past six years, I’ve had the privilege of being a senior perioperative practice specialist for AORN. In this role, I love writing the guidelines and the Clinical Issues columns and knowing that the work we do impacts practice and improves the quality of perioperative patient care.”

Sharon A. Van Wicklin, MSN, RN, CNOR, CRNFA (E), CPSN-R, PLNC
Senior Perioperative Practice Specialist


Again, Amber, Byron, Lisa, Mary and Sharon will all be speaking at our Global Surgical Conference and Expo in Boston next April along with many other AORN perioperative nurses. Please check out the education schedule for more details.

Also, for more information on how to share why you love what you do and ideas on ways to honor your perioperative peers during Perioperative Nurse Week visit https://www.aorn.org/periopnurseweek.