Q: Code Cart Checks

Is it absolutely necessary to check the code cards daily? Is it acceptable to check them every week? Also, why is it OK to go the whole weekend without a code cart check?

A: My understanding of code cart checks was that they needed to be checked at least once every 24 hours when someone was in the department.

A: Are you Joint Commission certified? You are required to do a check every day that you are open. It is OK to not check it over the weekend if you are closed and there is no opportunity for that crash cart being used.

A: It is standard of practice to check the crash carts daily. In such critical situations you want to make sure all of the equipment on the crash cart is in good working order along with checking for all supplies. This would be dangerous if it were only checked once a week.

A: Correct, that is a Joint Commission requirement for certified organizations.

Q: Vaginal Preps

When doing a vaginal prep, is the vaginal vault prepped with betadine soap and paint?

A: We only do paint in the vault.

A: Paint only.

A: We also only use paint in the vagina. What about patients who are allergic to betadine? Is there a standard prep for these patients? I’d like to find something endorsed by the ACOG group so we could develop that into our policy.

A: Not sure if ACOG endorses its use, but Technicare is safe for use.

Q: Cross Training

When other departments are slow, should they be allowed to cross train to the OR?

A: The OR has become such a specialized area, that it takes a significant time to orient. Some feel like it is a waste of time to try to cross train other staff occasionally. It seems like extra work with not much of a bang for your buck.

A: I think that it can be helpful to cross train in regards to same-day surgery. For instance, if a pre- or post-op nurse is trained in circulating or scrubbing out patient GU procedures it gives them a great insight on what the patient will experience. It can also help with educating the patient and answering their questions more adequately.

Q: Phone Ban

There is an issue with staff bringing their smartphones into the OR. Does your facility allow this? What would you suggest?

A: We do not allow cellphones in the OR and our hospital policy supports that position.

A: No. No exceptions. If someone is expecting an “important call” or is on call elsewhere, they can leave their phones with one of the receptionist/office staff who will take calls and call into the OR with messages. It’s an infection control risk and it’s also a risk for distraction. Typically, our anesthesia providers are the worst offenders.

A: We do not allow smartphones in the OR due to infection and distraction concerns.

A: It is against our policy to use their phone in the patient care area. Disciplinary action is initiated if we have issues.

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