Guideline Implementation: Energy-Generating Devices, Part 1—Electrosurgery

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Energy-generating devices are standard equipment in the surgical suite, with electrosurgical units being the most common type of electrical device used in the OR. Prevention of injuries to patients and personnel related to the use of energy-generating devices is a key component of the perioperative nurse's role. The AORN “Guideline for safe use of energy-generating devices” provides guidance on the use and maintenance of devices that deliver energy in the forms of radiofrequency waves, ultrasound waves, or lasers. This article focuses on key points of the guideline, which address precautions specific to electrosurgical units, patients with implanted electronic devices, and minimally invasive surgery, and documentation of the use of energy-generating devices. Perioperative RNs should review the complete guideline for additional information and for guidance when writing and updating policies and procedures.

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