Innovate: A collaboration of nursing excellence at the Minneapolis VA health care center


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Every day in VA hospitals nationwide, nurses dedicate themselves to help patients reclaim their lives. What they do is more than a career, it’s a calling to restore hope and bring healing to Veterans and their families. Nurses’ strength, skill and compassion lie at the core of VA’s high-quality standard of care. This Nurses Week, we are sharing VA nursing stories that embody inspiration, innovation and influence. Be sure to check back in for a new story every day the week of May 6-12th and share your favorite VA nurse memory in the comments section.

In January 2017, the Minneapolis VA Health Care Center opened a hybrid operating room suite with both single plane and biplane radiologic equipment. Our main operating room is a busy 18 room operating room suite that supports complex patient care needs of 13 surgical subspecialties. We are a complex 1A facility. The decision to create a separate hybrid operating room came from a team of professional nurses that specialize in hybrid operating room technology and procedures was adopted and has proven to be highly successful.

Hybrid operating rooms combine minimally invasive approaches to complex patient care needs with the ability to convert to traditional open type surgical interventions. Hybrid operating rooms also support the complex blending of cardiology and cardiac surgery interventions, more specifically the TAVR (trans catheter aortic valve) procedure. The hybrid operating room also blend the expertise of invasive radiologists and vascular surgeons to provide both diagnostic and interventional treatment for complex vascular disease. The hybrid operating room certainly is the future for all hospitals as it allows enormous flexibility in meeting the patient’s procedural needs. The hybrid operating room environment requires a special type of nurse that possesses extreme flexibility, complex thinking skills, keen technical and patient assessment skills. We have achieved this success in Minneapolis in creating a new breed of nursing that possess these qualities.

In development of the hybrid operating room philosophy, we have successfully collaborated with our team members in the cardiac cath lab, cardiology, and invasive radiology suites. We have collaborated in the development of our nursing skills sets, we have combined and share inventory, collaborated in competency validation and nursing education. We work together breaking down the walls of departmental structure to provide multi-disciplinary care for our Veterans!

Story submitted by: Julie A. Wagner, RN, CNOR

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VA Careers

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