orm_february-2024 - 21

Leadership
Takeaways
* VA and Navy hospitals are subject to many of the same requirements as their civilian counterparts, including adherence
to quality and infection control standards as well as regulations from organizations such as AORN.
* Rank structure plays a significant role in forming and leading OR teams at Navy and Veteran's Affairs (VA) facilities.
* Nurses are vital leaders in VA and Navy healthcare facilities as specialty surgery experts, coordinators, and instrumentation
suppliers.
Navy and VA, Lubell
Continued from page 1
VA facilities not only offer many of
the same, advanced procedures as nonVA
facilities, but they also perform them
just as well-or sometimes better. In
July 2023, the Department of Veterans
Affairs reported that 67% of VA hospitals
included in the Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services (CMS) annual
Overall Hospital Quality Star Ratings
earned either 4 or 5 stars, compared to
just 41% of non-VA hospitals.
Military hospitals (which are administered
by the Department of Defense
rather than the Department of Veterans
Affairs) also offer essentially the same
experience as their civilian counterparts,
at least from a " boots-on-the-ground "
perspective. That is according to Brian
Dawson, MSN, RN-BC, CNOR, CSSM, a
retired Navy captain and OR nurse and
a board member at the Colorado Center
for Nursing Excellence in Denver. " If you
were in the OR of a military hospital, you
wouldn't know it was a military hospital.
Everybody's in scrubs, everybody's got a
name tag on, or a badge, " he says.
Recent interviews with VA and Navy
sources shed more light on their experiences,
as well as the rigorous leadership
structure and protocols they follow
to ensure a safe environment for patients.
Active
duty
Regulatory organizations such as AORN,
the American Society for Parenteral and
Enteral Nutrition for the postanesthesia
care unit (PACU), and the Association
for the Advancement of Medical
Instrumentation for the sterile processing
department (SPD) hold military and
www.ormanager.com
The peripheral vascular team at the LTC Charles S. Kettles VAMC in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, operates on a patient in the newly renovated endovascular suite. Used
with permission.
VA hospitals to the same standards as
other healthcare facilities. And The Joint
Commission issues the same types of
surveys. Even facilities classified as federal
must follow state regulations.
What Dawson loved most about his
time in the Navy is all facilities follow
the same policies, procedures, and
standards, which is not always true for
facilities belonging to the same health
organization. " We function as a system, "
he says. However, most OR
nurses and technicians at navy hospitals-and
virtually all surgeons-are
active-duty service members, he adds.
Unlike their civilian counterparts, activeduty
personnel have dual assignments:
a military hospital (US or overseas) as
well as what he calls a " wartime platform. "
Examples include warships, the
hospital ships Comfort or Mercy, and
Marine Corps Medical Battalion Units in
combat zones. Most active-duty healthcare
providers change duty stations
every 3 to 5 years.
A tight ship
In the Navy surgical suite, rank structure
plays a significant role in team formation
and leadership,
says Corey L. Sherrill,
CDR, NC, USN, MSN,
MSHS, RN, CNOR, program
director for the
perioperative nurse training
program, East Coast
region at Naval Medical
Center Portsmouth in Virginia.
Generally, a director
of surgical services
(DSS) runs the surgery
Corey L.
Sherrill, CDR,
NC, USN,
MSN, MSHS,
RN, CNOR
department with an assistant. Under the
DSS and DSS assistant are a department
head and assistant department
head, who typically oversee the Main
Operating Room (MOR), preoperative
services (preop), PACU, central sterile
supply/reprocessing (CSSR/SPD), and
business management departments.
" Within the MOR, you may find separate
divisions that will cover specific
services, " Sherrill says. The bigger military
treatment facilities (MTFs) utilize
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie to name its
divisions. In the smaller MTFs that run
six or less rooms, breaking up divisions
in this manner is not necessary,
she clarified. The Alpha division enOR
Manager | February 2024 21
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orm_february-2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of orm_february-2024

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https://www.nxtbook.com/accessintelligence/ORManager/orm_november-2023
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