My name is Linda Söderkvist, 36 years old, and I graduated in 2012 from the Red Cross University College in Stockholm where I earned my Master´s degree in perioperative nursing and became an operating room nurse. Before I specialized in perioperative nursing I worked as a registered nurse for three years at the Thoracic Surgery Department of the Karolinska University hospital.
I started my career as an operating room nurse at the Central Surgery Department at Karolinska and this is where my interest for urology began. My first year I was assigned at the Urology Surgery Department and since then I became more interested to gain excellence in this field.
The Urology Department has three robotic systems which make it to one of the biggest robot centres in Europe and the main oncological urology surgery performed here is robot-assisted prostatectomies and cystectomies. Due to the high volume of robot-assisted cases (we perform over 800 cases every year) I became more familiar with the robotic technique in surgery. I gained necessary skills for handling the robot and the perioperative care for the patient undergoing robotic surgery.
Two years ago my professional interest led me to become a certified RNFA (registered nurse first assistant). I took my certificate at Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark. Being the first certified RNFA in Sweden, with the full support from the Urology Clinic and the urologists, I contributed to break new ground and extend our field of competence when it comes to robotic surgery in urology. With an operating room nurse as first assistant, we can observe the whole perioperative context the patient is in., and I believe this is of great advantage to the patient.
Due to the surgical technique developed by our console surgeons, we have visitors from all over the world and very often we welcome whole operating teams for educational purposes. Taking care of the international guests enables me to assess the competence of the operating room nurse in urology surgery, which I find very important.
Passing on knowledge is crucial for patient safety and very important at all levels in a health care system. I mentor both senior and junior operating room nurses for them to gain the right competence and skills. I had a lot of correspondence with other operating room nurses around Sweden who are interested in improving their competence. My role is to mentor and be available for questions regarding educational and organizational matters.
I believe we face a new future with technology constantly improving and changing our set standards in the operating room. The future requires various skills in our profession for us to maintain patient safety during surgical procedures. I value education and formal competence.
Today our educational systems are not in line with the rapid technological changes and I find this a very important topic which we need to actively address. My passion for my work and my engagement as an operating room nurse in urological and robotic surgery are the main reasons for my interest to become an EAUN board member.
RNFA, RN, CNOR, MSc.