Association Of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)
We are pleased to shine the spotlight on the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), an exceptional Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Champion.
It doesn’t have to be Perioperative Nurses Week for AORN to honor its ongoing commitment to employees and members. Through health and wellness resources created or scheduled throughout the year, AORN demonstrates that commitment every day.
Taking Care of Members
AORN’s 42,000 members can take advantage of a number of self-care opportunities offered in digital format.
Webinars guide members through safety, fatigue, and emotional challenges they experience during patient care. The resources also help nurses deal with increased pressures at home as they work to keep their families safe from COVID-19.
“The webinars are especially popular among our members,” said AORN’s CEO/Executive Director, Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN. “The webinars focused on COVID-19 topics have been viewed more than 15,000 times on YouTube.”
In partnership with American Nurses Foundation and three other nursing organizations, AORN is also involved in the Well-Being Initiative. The program provides free tools and resources specifically designed to support nurses’ mental health and well-being during this time.
AORN also created podcasts, including a series in partnership with the Well-Being Initiative. They offer emotional guidance to unwind, destress, and better manage the emotional burdens of patient care during COVID-19 and beyond. The series features conversations between Groah and Dr. Phyllis Quinlan, a self-care and healing coach who specializes in the emotional well-being of nurses.
“Each podcast addresses current concerns faced by all nurses, regardless of specialty,” said Groah. “We expect the podcast to be beneficial to our listeners because the discussion topics are based on a survey we conducted to learn how we can best support them. The podcasts are tailored to their requests for help.”
Caring for Employees
With AORN’s team working remotely due to COVID-19, leadership has also created new ways for employees to engage with one another and stay connected. For example, because of telecommuting, employees can no longer take advantage of the onsite fitness center or in-person weekly yoga classes. In place of these options, employees can tune in to a virtual yoga class each week.
Through AORN’s “Social Wall” on social media, leadership coordinates fun contests like “Best Staycation,” where employees were encouraged to post pictures of their COVID-19 staycation experiences. When summer ended and it was time for children to go back to school, there was a contest where employees could post pictures of their little ones on their first day of school.
“This contest in particular was a great way for our staff to celebrate the resiliency of children during this challenging and uncertain time,” said Gloria McCamley, PHR, AORN’s Director of Human Resources. “It was nice to highlight those who were making the most of online and hybrid learning.”
Lastly, AORN has a Wellness and Recognition Committee, which is an employee-run committee that plans social outings and gatherings. During the pandemic, the committee has continued to provide events virtually, including a Virtual Halloween costume contest for employees, their children, and their pets.
AORN has planned wellness-themed events through the end of the year. Next up is a healthy recipe contest in November for employees to share their favorite healthy appetizer, main meal, side dish, and dessert recipes.
In December, a Health and Happiness Strategist will lead a “lunch and learn” on choosing nourishing foods and understanding nutrition. There will also be a healthy cookie recipe exchange contest.
“The holidays can be a stressful and hectic time, and we know for certain this year they will look different and will affect each of us in unique ways,” said Gloria. “That’s why a second lunch and learn in December will focus on how to effectively manage stress.”
Spreading the Message of Wellness
Pandemic or not, AORN continues to promote ANA’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation self-care resources. The organization regularly promotes #healthynurse content on its social media channels and semi-monthly newsletter, which reaches more than 80,000 nurses.
During Perioperative Nurses Week and beyond, these professionals deserve a focus on self-care and well-being. Aligning with ANA’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation initiative helps AORN deliver exactly that.
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