Located in Scranton, PA, Geisinger Community Medical Center has worked hard over the last couple years to earn recognition as a 2018 TrueNorth Award Honorable Mention. This facility is one of eight hospitals within Geisinger Health System and leads the pack when it comes to CNOR certification.
In 2016, Geisinger Community Medical Center amped up efforts to promote certification, specifically within the perioperative department. The nurse educator on staff joined CCI’s CNOR Coaches Program in the inaugural term, beginning July 2016, and has continued to volunteer as a coach to this day. In addition to having a CNOR Coach on staff, the facility supplies copies of the CNOR Exam Prep as well as the CNOR Flashcards. These items are kept in the facility’s Health Science Library, so they are readily available to all staff. Additional materials found within the perioperative department include Alexander’s Care of the Surgical Patient as well as online access to AORN’s Guidelines for Perioperative Practice. Geisinger Community Medical Center signed up for the Take2 Program in 2016 to offer testing opportunities to nurses at no coast. These combined efforts lead them to soon achieve the CNOR Strong designation for obtaining 50% CNOR certification rate among eligible staff.
Geisinger Community Medical Center has developed many practices and strategies to celebrate nurses once certified. Upon achieving initial certification, the CNOR Coach and educator provide a CNOR button and the newly certified nurse is celebrated all week during daily staff huddles, as well as mentioned in the hospital-wide monthly newsletter. The nurse is given a Certified Registered Nurse recognition badge worn on the employee identification. There are many additional opportunities to celebrate certification throughout the year, including a certified nurses' dinner during Nurses’ Week. Once certified, nurses are not only celebrated but they are supported in their efforts to maintain certification as well. For instance, contact hours are available through hospital sponsored education sessions. Certified nurses are also reimbursed for CNOR recertification fees.
The support and encouragement nurses receive through the entire certification process has created a community of highly involved perioperative staff at Geisinger Community Medical Center. The certified nurses of the perioperative team participate in many training initiatives and projects both in and out of facility walls. For example, a CNOR-certified nurse presents the OR techniques and sterility for the regional trauma nurse class and a CSSM-certified nurse facilitates the crucial conversations course for the entire health system. In 2016, the facility also implemented a CNOR driven OR guideline project focused on traffic in the surgical suite. Through this project they were able to develop several strategies to reduce the number of door openings per minute during surgical procedures. Additionally, CNOR nurses formed an evidence-based task force to reduce hospital acquired pressure injuries, resulting in an overall decrease across the entire hospital and a current HAPI rate of 0.5 incidents per 1000 patient days. Outside of Geisinger Community Medical Center, certified nurses have presented posters at AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo, one earning the “Attendee Choice Award” at the 2017 conference.
Through many thoughtful initiatives and a few years of consistent effort, Geisinger Community Medical Center has made tremendous strides in patient care through the promotion of certification amongst their nurses, the perioperative department included. By encouraging nurses, offering adequate tools and resources, supporting efforts, and rewarding achievement Geisinger Community Medical Center they have found a way to recognize nurses at every stage of the cycle and offer the support necessary.