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Webinar Provides In-Depth Look at Educator Role

Amanda HeitmanThe OR Today webinar “An Educator … What Is It Good For” presented by Perioperative Educational Consultant Amanda Heitman, RN, BSN, CNOR, was eligible for one (1) continuing education (CE) hour by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing.

In the November 11 webinar, Heitman provided attendees – some of which were perioperative nurses considering embarking on the role of educator – with information on the extensive role of the educator for the surgical services areas. Discussion on the scope of the educator role, skill sets, necessary resources and network building expanded the attendees’ knowledge of preparation for the position. An overview of how an educator functions as an intricate cog in the patient/staff safety and quality initiatives was addressed. Heitman also discussed recruitment and retention efforts through an RN residency program in the perioperative arena.

A question-and-answer session with attendees provided additional insights.

One attendee asked, “You say that you have recruited and had several candidates to choose from. How do you pick the best one or the right one?”

“Well, that’s a really good question,” Heitman said. “It is sometimes a daunting task because there are a lot of applicants sometimes. But you kind of have to be selective in the questions that you ask them when you’re doing interviews. You want them to know why they want to be in the OR. So, you don’t want to just take somebody that thinks it’s cool because they watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and I wouldn’t really want to do that. And believe me, I’ve been fooled before by these people that say the right things. And it isn’t really what they thought it was.”

“The best thing to do is to find the people that really know that it’s about patient safety, and that that’s the reason they’re doing it and start from there,” she added.

Other questions asked about the high number of travel nurses in the OR, the biggest challenge Heitman faces as an educator, the educational requirement considered appropriate for an LR or RN educator and more.

The webinar drew 87 individuals for the live presentation and an on-demand option is available online. Attendees provided feedback via a survey that included the question, “How well did the content that was delivered match what you were promised when you registered?”

“Very well. Nice to see that what I do as a clinical educator was supported in her lecture,” Clinical Educator G. Young said.

“It was perfect and something I needed at this moment in time,” Nurse Education Specialist M. Hutchcraft said.

“I found the speaker to be well informed and she kept the audience engaged in the conversation,” RN Educator S. Johnson said.

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