AORN Blog - The Periop Life


Perfectionism in the Time of COVID-19

A Guest Blog Post by Erin Kyle, DNP, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC

Editor in Chief, Guidelines for Perioperative Practice


Perfectionism in the Time of COVID-19

March 25, 2020

I have a confession. I’m a perfectionist. I want all things to always be precise and done correctly. When I have questions, I want answers that are clear and consistent. My mother has always told me that sometimes things are not perfect, and there’s no easy solution – that “you have to do the best you can with what you’ve got.” 

It’s possible that most perioperative RNs are like me. At this time, maybe more than ever, we all want clear answers from sources we can trust. As the response to COVID-19 develops and access to essential resources becomes strained, we know that we will all need to work together on solutions to problems that we have never faced before in our lifetime.

No one person, profession, or organization has all the answers – but together we can and will find the best answers to complex practice problems arising from drastic changes in healthcare delivery during this pandemic. We can make the best decisions – as long as we work together. We realize solutions that work today may not work tomorrow as a result of rapid and drastic changes in this ever-evolving situation. These are uncharted waters. You and your team may need to make shared practice decisions where no evidence exists. 

There is no profession that is more resilient and skilled at in-the-moment critical thinking than perioperative RNs. AORN acknowledges that you need sound practice advice and you are looking to us for guidance. We are with you, and we will stand behind you as you face this unprecedented public health crisis. We want to give you the best tools to enable your team to do the best you can with what you’ve got.

AORN will continue our commitment to support you by providing evidence-based recommendations and access to trusted and timely resources upon which you can base your logic for these challenging decisions.

During this time, the AORN Clinical Consult Line has extended its hours (Monday-Thursday 9am-1pm MT) so perioperative and infection prevention nurses can be available to help you with practice decisions. AORN has compiled a Coronavirus Tool Kit of links to the latest guidance and information from trusted agencies and organizations that will help you in your decision making. Finally, I encourage you to visit AORN’s COVID-19 Support page for evidence-based clinical resources, FAQs, education, and useful tools – we’ll keep updating this site as we learn more about the novel coronavirus.