210 - The Solution to Pollution: A Breath of Fresher Air
Description: Surgical smoke is a hazardous byproduct created through the use of energy-generating devices and contains toxic compounds that expose perioperative team members and patients to respiratory, chemical, biologic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and cytotoxic hazards. The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses' (AORN) Guidelines, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and The Joint Commission all advocate that surgical smoke be managed effectively. The Ronald Reagan University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center Department of Operative Services thus conducted enterprise-wide trials to go smoke-free incorporating 3 smoke evacuation electrosurgical pencils. Each pencil was evaluated by surgeons and staff on its overall effectiveness, ease of use, and cost per unit. From the trials, 1 pencil was selected and approved for the medical supply formulary. The plan for implementation included four distinct phases: Staging, Pre-Clinical, Implementation, and Sustainability. Comprehensive education was also provided to interdisciplinary team members to ensure competency and empower personnel to implement best practice. This clinical practice improvement project has been effectively implemented. The success of this initiative is attributed to the collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary team. As a result of creating a surgical smoke evacuation standard and exemplifying the University of California Smoke-free Campus Initiative, perioperative nurses are able to optimize perioperative team member and patient safety by implementing a surgical smoke evacuation program.