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June 12: "NATIONAL TIME OUT DAY" Nurses take time out to ensure patient safety

On June 12, National Time Out Day will be practiced in hospitals and  ambulatory surgery centers around the country. Taking a "time out" to confirm  correct patient, correct procedure, correct surgical site and other important  information before every operative and other invasive procedure is a requirement  of The Joint Commission Universal Protocol.

Despite the requirement, 40-60 wrong site surgeries likely occur in the U.S.  each week. Time Out Day was created by the Association of periOperative  Registered Nurses (AORN) in 2004 as a way to raise awareness about the  importance of requiring the entire surgical team to pause before all invasive  procedures to communicate as a group and confirm key information about the  patient and procedure to help prevent errors from occurring.

Wrong patient, wrong site, wrong procedures are sentinel events -- described by The Joint Commission as "an unexpected occurrence involving death  or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof."

To perioperative nurses, they are tragedies. That is why as a perioperative  nurse and AORN member, I commemorate National Time Out Day with this public  commitment to my patients, their loved ones and the entire surgical community  that I will always take time out for every patient, every time.

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