AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Bring Some Positivity into Your OR

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September 23, 2020

If someone promises you a formula to take away on-the-job stress, they’re lying. Workplace stress is not only normal, it’s unavoidable—especially for busy surgical professionals during a pandemic. You can, however, learn to minimize your concern and worry over things that are out of your control, says Kay Frances, MBA, who will deliver the opening keynote address during the upcoming Virtual OR Excellence. Frances wants perioperative professionals to fully understand the power of a positive attitude and a healthy sense of humor—and how those things translate directly to personal and professional success.

The Periop Life asked Frances about this important topic and what attendees can expect from her address next month.


What do you hope attendees will walk away with after hearing your talk?

I want them to realize that while we can’t always control our circumstances, we can choose how we view them. Stress can’t be avoided. It’s a part of life. The key is to learn to manage it in a healthy way, which has a lot to do with mindfulness. We have enough legitimate things to concern ourselves with, so we need to let go of those little things that simply don’t matter. I’ll encourage attendees to remember positive emo­tions whenever possible and to keep their senses of humor. Laughter is the delivery vehicle for my mes­sage, and I want everyone to feel that bond of a shared experience. If they can both laugh and learn, I will feel I’ve done my job.

Will the pandemic factor into the advice you offer?

The pandemic has been an interesting exercise for me to truly “walk my talk.” I’ve discovered the principles of managing stress and change still apply and are even more important during this tremen­dous challenge, which we’re all experiencing to varying degrees and in many of the same ways. Now, more than ever, we need to be optimistic when we can, find humor in life’s events whenever possible and remember to take care of ourselves. The more we apply these principles, the better equipped we are to handle the current crisis as well as anything thrown at us personally and professionally.

What are you looking forward to most about being the opening keynote speaker for Virtual OR Excellence?

I love talking to healthcare professionals! I was my mom’s caregiver for seven years and came to develop the utmost respect for people who work in all facets of healthcare. I don’t think what they do is merely a profes­sion. It’s a calling. I also find that healthcare professionals understand the importance of laughter, so they are typically great audiences. I think we’ll have a ball!

This article originally appeared in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. This version has been edited specifically for The Periop Life.


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Looking for more information on how to bring this tangible sense of purpose and positivity to your facility? Preregister for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 today for guaranteed first-day access on October 22. Complimentary pass included with AORN membership and Outpatient Surgery Magazine subscriptions.