336 - Using Simulation to Augment Critical Thinking Skills of New OR Nurses
Description: The operating room (OR) is one of the most challenging specialty areas of nursing. Historically, new graduate nurses were not permitted in this specialty area. Most hospitals required at least one year of nursing experience before they would consider hiring a nurse into the OR. However, the current shortage of nurses in this area of expertise has altered that dynamic. Today, many hospitals are training not only new graduate nurses, but also staff nurses that want to transfer into the OR specialty. There are many simulation software products available to OR staff. However, none address the critical thinking skills essential to the perioperative registered nurse’s ability to provide safe care to surgical patients. Although many specialty areas require nurses to implement specific patient safety measures as dictated by the patient population, OR nurses are required to transition immediately from one surgical specialty to another. This requires the ability of the RN to critically think and make the necessary adjustments. Nurse educators are challenged to augment this ability through diverse educational and training methods. Using simulation during the on-boarding of OR nurses helps to bridge the gap from novice to expert without jeopardizing superior patient care. This process aims to cultivate nurses by engaging learners in simulation scenarios that emphasize essential concepts. The progression of professional growth is validated throughout the orientation process.