269 - Promoting OR Personnel Comfort to Reduce Stress and Fatigue
Description: Clinical Issue-Operating room personnel across the country are drenched from sweat while wearing layers of barrier protective gowns and equipment. The comfort, mood, and performance of operating room (OR) personnel are negatively impacted by the continuous exposure to elevated body temperatures, loss of body fluid from perspiration, lifting heavy instrument trays and equipment while wearing barrier protective gowns, and standing for several hours without relief from the heat. The consequences resulting from the discomfort are known to be associated with fatigue, incivility, and decreased productivity. Description of Team-OR personnel (surgeons, residents, physician assistants, scrub techs, and nurses) who scrub in and assist in Orthopedic and Neurosurgery observed at Cleveland Clinic-Hillcrest.Preparation and Planning-Review of Literature and complaints from OR personnel at weekly team meetings of heat discomfort leading to stress and fatigue during long cases. Comfort interventions such as ambient temperature ranges between 68-75 degrees Fahrenheit, cooling vest, gel-floor mats, and hydration used by OR personnel to improve comfort and reduce fatigue.Assessment-Comfort interventions were made available by the leadership team to the OR personnel to help improve comfort and decrease fatigue. However, attention to strictly enforcing ambient temperature ranges in every OR to protect patients from developing morbidities associated with hypothermia. Implementation-Educating the OR staff on use of comfort interventions at weekly team meetings of benefits to improve comfort and decrease fatigue. Chronic exposure to uncomfortably warm environment can have a negative impact on well-being, mood, and job performance. Encourage and provide comfort interventions during 20 Orthopedic/Neurosurgical cases. Outcome-Observations and feedback at weekly meetings of the OR personnel's moods were improved and fatigue was decreased. Positive impact on well-being, mood, and increased job performances during Ortho/Neurosurgical cases. Implications for Perioperative Nursing-Through the comfort interventions used during the 20 cases, we were able to highlight a new understanding of the physical discomfort that OR personnel experience while wearing barrier protective gowns and standing for long intervals of time performing strenuous surgical procedures. The observations gained from the OR staff will support the use of comfort interventions to improve comfort and reduce fatigue. Creating a culture of safety and a healthy work environment aligns with the American Nurses Association's position statement to reduce nurse fatigue; promote health of healthcare personnel; and to ensure optimal patient outcomes.