Highly trained Operating Room (OR) nurses must be able to prepare the instruments to be used by the surgeon in the procedures and should know how to aid the surgeon when needed. For this, optimised surgical instruments should be provided to have an efficient workflow at the OR, to minimise the misuse of tools and to ensure the reusability of instruments after surgery.
Continuing the line of interviews with the potential end-users of our instruments, Surge-on Medical interviewed OR nurse Heleen Barnhoorn. Heleen works at Elkerliek Medical Center in Helmond, the Netherlands. She is an OR nurse with specialisation in orthopaedic, which is why her perspective on the Steerable Punch is relevant for Surge-on Medical.

How long have you been an OR nurse?

Heleen: I became an OR nurse in 2006 at Alrijne Medical Center in Leiderdorp, under the supervision of Leiden Medical Center.

Are you satisfied with the current surgical instruments in your field? In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that surgeons face regarding instrumentation?

Heleen: Quite often, instruments are designed having in mind their main surgical purpose only, ignoring important features such as cleanability or reusability. Easy pre-cleaning is difficult in many “innovative” instruments as they do not allow for easy removal of blood. If you do not remove blood immediately when it is still in its fluid state, the instruments become very difficult to clean.

What do you think about Surge-on Medical’s steerable technology? For you as an OR nurse, what is the added value of these instruments?

Heleen plays with the Steerable Punch in her hands and comments: Look, I just took it apart, did I damage it?
After being told to just close the handle and assemble it by clicking it easily together, she comments: This allows for an easier cleaning process, which is very relevant to pre-cleaning and further flushing before sterilisation.

In your opinion, do Surge-on Medical’s instruments help to solve the instrumentation challenges you are facing? How so?

Heleen: Definitely! It is ideal to develop instruments that can be easily processed. That is an obvious benefit. Also, I think that in laparoscopy, this technology is very beneficial if you can make it in a way that it remains cost-efficient. After explaining that we are indeed developing a series of clip appliers, graspers for hysterectomy and hernia repair, Heleen elaborates: Yes, that would be very helpful! Quite often I see surgeons struggle to reach remote locations in the abdomen.

Is there anything else you want to say about Surge-on Medical or about our products to the public?

Heleen: We already discussed the potential for arthroscopy and laparoscopy for the grasper tip. However, don’t forget ENT and then, specifically, polyps removal and sinus surgery. Ideally, a 3 mm instrument can be extremely useful there as the skull only allows for minimal instrument movement. If you have a steerable instrument with a tip that can move towards the specific surgical site, it spells the difference between a fast, painless procedure and one with a lot of pain and discomfort for the patient. On the question why there is pain and discomfort, Heleen answers: This happens when the surgeon for example needs to press the shaft in the nasal tissue to reach the surgical site. This area is very sensitive.

We trust surgeons and nurses with our lives. Thus, healthcare professionals should have the best available surgical instruments, and this is why their feedback is so essential for what we do – they know best. If you have missed the take of the nurses’ very colleague in the OR, the surgeon, read it here!

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