October 23, 2014

Perioperative nursing association honors Wyatt

David Wyatt, MPH, R.N.

Vanderbilt University Hospital’s David Wyatt, MPH, R.N., is set to receive the highest individual honor in perioperative nursing.

Wyatt will receive the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) 2015 award for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing at the organization’s national conference in March in Denver.

Wyatt is the interim associate hospital director and associate chief nursing officer for the Surgery Patient Care Center and Perioperative Services for Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Medical Group.

He will be the 27th person to receive this award.

“I’m humbled to be the recipient,” he said. “The award is really designed to recognize individual nurses who have made contributions in research and education and in practice.”

Wyatt said he learned that his name was submitted earlier this summer, but “it did not cross my mind that I would actually be awarded.”

He notes that AORN has about 40,000 members. About 6,500 of them will be present at the conference in March, where Wyatt is one of the speakers. He previously served on the board of AORN for four years.

“I’ve had an opportunity to serve our association and perioperative nursing nationally and internationally with representation through that board and it was an honor and a privilege,” he said, “as we start to understand the future of health care and the role that nurses are playing in its redesign.”

Robin Steaban, MSN, R.N., Chief Nursing Officer for Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics, said the award is just another example of excellence in VUMC’s Magnet-designated nursing enterprise.

“I am thrilled to learn about David’s honor,” she said. “He exemplifies leadership in an organization full of exceptional people.”

Since arriving at Vanderbilt in 2010, Wyatt and others have been responsible for many changes in perioperative nursing. Their shared governance initiatives have created an executive unit board that allows nurses to connect on issues and come to consensus on a resolution, Wyatt said.

Wyatt helped implement a huddle for charge nurses to focus on operational efficiencies in the morning and staffing decisions in the afternoon. In addition, he has helped supervise several construction projects, including two EP rooms, four operating rooms and the remodeling and opening of three more operating rooms.

Wyatt previously worked at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver, and the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City.

He is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Colorado-Denver, where his emphasis is nursing systems and health systems research.

“I have a pretty strong belief that we’ve done a lot of things through technology to enhance patient safety over the years and we’ve made tremendous gains but I think the last frontier for us, really, where we have a tremendous amount of work still to do is on how humans interact with each other with that technology,” Wyatt said.

“Technology is not the solution for all of our patient safety problems. It’s really working on initiatives that enhance the relationships and how our teams work together.”