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Texas Collaboration of periOperative Registered Nurses
April 27, 2021
Greetings to each of you. Today there is news to share about the work TCORN leaders have been doing for the last two years.
At our 2019 TCORN meeting in San Antonio, the organization members voted to try a new form of leadership. We still have a president (currently Beverly Kirchner, to be followed by JD Buchert on January 1, 2022. The president solicits assistance from volunteers to ensure that committee work, education, and legislation are addressed. To date, the arrangement has worked well.
TCORN’s current Legislative Committee is comprised of Joanne Oliver-Coleman, Chair, Daphney Grace Peneza, Jean Franks, Ebony Mitchell, Karen White-Scott, June VanHoose, JD Buchert, and Beverly Kirchner.
Working with Jennifer Pennock, Senior Manager of Government Affairs at AORN, and the lobbyist AORN hired Kevin Stewart for TCORN and all perioperative nurses in Texas, the Committee has successfully facilitated the introduction of a Surgical Smoke Evacuation Bill in both the Texas House of Representatives (HB4118) and the Senate (SB429).; Texas Nurses Association NLAC Committee favors the bill, and it is on TNA’s legislative agenda for 2021.
HB4118 has made it to committee and JD and Beverly are on standby to testify before the House committee. Yesterday, the bill was pulled from the Wednesday’s committee agenda because the Texas Hospital Association wanted some wording changed. AORN has approved the new wording and Kevin is working on getting the bill back on the House schedule..
TCORN Needs Your Help
Please prepare a statement (approx 150 words) describing your experience with or reaction to surgical smoke and have it ready to email to the House Committee when the bill is scheduled to be heard. Joanne’s goal is a minimum of 100 perioperative nurses’ statements supporting the bill with their personal stories. We will post an announcement on the TCORN website, Facebook page, and email AORN chapter presidents in Texas to when the bill is placed on the hearing docket.
Our goal is to provide a safe work environment in Texas ORs. The bill will encourage strong policies in hospitals and ASCs on the use of smoke evacuation equipment. Currently every facility can evacuate smoke through our vacuum systems by using an inexpensive filter.
Plans for 2022
TCORN leaders are planning a face-to-face meeting in 2022 in San Antonio in collaboration with other nursing organizations. We will keep you informed on this initiative.