3 takeaways for ASCs supporting surgical smoke laws

Surgical smoke, or toxic emissions generated from surgical tools cutting and burning tissue during surgery, can negatively affect the surgeons and nurses that work in operating rooms who breathe in the smoke.

Daily exposure to surgical smoke is the equivalent of smoking 27 to 30 cigarettes, leading perioperative nurses to report twice as many respiratory issues as the general population.

Theresa Plante, BSN, RN, shared her experience with the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses from the work she did with legislators to pass a law in Rhode Island requiring hospitals and ASCs to adopt surgical smoke evacuation systems in their ORs.

3 key details:

1. Working with other nurses and with associations like AORN that have experts who understand the legislative process can help advocates connect with legislators.

2. Nurses supporting surgical smoke laws need to be experts at discussing the dangers the smoke poses to nurses and surgeons, as well as how smoke evacuation technology works.

3. The legislative process can be slow, so having patience helps when waiting for a bill to be passed.

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