In the late 80’s and early 90’s, some far-sighted and enthusiastic nurse managers working in operating rooms and sterile supply service recognized that tremendous changes were imminent in medical and health service in Hong Kong. Competent practice and professional accountability would be demanded of its practitioners. There was a need for the operating room nurses to discuss their concern and resolve their differences in practice and patient care, and to provide training to the nursing and supportive colleagues in operating rooms. In 1992, the Hong Kong Operating Theatre & Sterile Supply Nurses Association (HKOT&SSNA) was established.
In the past 15 years, under the leadership of our founder and past chairpersons – Mr. Thomas Lee, Mr. Alexander Chang & Ms Scarlette Lam, with the steadfast support of Mr. Martin Ma, the effort of the council members and collaboration of liaison members, the Association has gown to a membership of over 1100 from over 40 public and private hospitals and institutes. Our members included not only nurses working in hospitals, but also in ambulatory surgical centers, where professional support might not be as strong as in hospitals. Some non-nursing personnel working in the service are also allowed to join as affiliated members to broaden our influence in the service.
The regular activity of the Association continues to be the provision of bimonthly seminars on topics by clinical experts in different surgical arena and in perioperative nursing. It helps our members to obtain the knowledge of updated trend and state-of-the-art technology. In the first decade, we focused on conducting basic certificate courses in operating theatre nursing and sterile supplies. With Hospital Authority taking up a major corporate training role in Perioperative Nursing and participation of other professional organizations, we are making greater effort on specialty courses, e.g. neurosurgery, orthopaedics joint replacement, minimal invasive surgery, anaesthetic nursing and management training, which can better meet the need of our members. We will continuously scrutinize the trend of nursing education and the needs of our members to target our training effort for the most effective results.
Understanding the need of standardized practice and quality improvement, we completed the first version of Standard Statements & Recommended Practice in 1999. It has been adopted by some of our member hospitals, or used as basis for building up corporate specialty guidelines.
We believe through attending local and international conferences help our members to grow and to learn; networking and exchanges with our counterparts not only broaden our views, it helps us to see through our own problems. Effort is made to sponsor and encourage our members to attend local and oversea conferences, and to visit hospitals and facilities.
In 2006, with the consensus of our members, we changed the registration of the association to Association of Hong Kong Operating Room
Nurses (HKORN). We believe that theatre sterile supply service is an integral part of operating room practice. Updating our name would clearly delineate our role as the leading organization of operating room nurses in Hong Kong, making it easier for our communication and interaction with other international nursing bodies. We have also updated our constitution in 2007 to increase the Council Members from 7 to 9, so that we can solicit more ingenuity and participation from our members.
As a provider of Continuous Nursing Education (CNE) approved by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong, we are very concerned about the quality of training we are able to provide. We shall need our members to feedback to guide us, and our committed healthcare professionals to share and to help in training.
The nursing leaders in Hong Kong are now in the process of soliciting support to establish the Hong Kong Academy of Nursing, which will have a great impact on nursing specialization, accreditation mechanism, and autonomy in nursing practice. As a founding member of the preparatory committee, we will represent the perioperative nursing community to contribute to its establishment.
The healthcare system is dynamic and demand on nursing is enormous. I would appeal to our younger generation of perioperative nurses to vitalize the Association and to serve our members.
The Association exists for the operating room nurses. Let’s join hands to grow and to learn.