Leading the Operating Room Team

Steven Witkowski, MSA, RN

Surgical Services

Steve entered his nursing career through the US Military where he started as a medic, saying “It is ‘in my blood’ to help people and a nursing path was the right fit for me.”

He treats every patient “as if they were his grandmother” and councils all nurse to follow this practice.

Over twenty years in nursing, Steve is now the Director of Operating Services and Central Processing for the Beaumont Health System. He sees operating room (OR) nursing as a particularly unique nursing specialty because of the nurses’ responsibility as patient advocate and their leadership roles.

Steve notes “our patients are often unconscious during our care and therefore very vulnerable. We must be particularly attentive to their needs by being their eyes and ears. There is no patient-feedback; our assessments are critical.”

About nursing leadership, Steve said, “OR nurses function on a truly interdisciplinary team where everyone has a role and works collaboratively on behalf of the patient.”

He also notes that OR nurses are often the leader of that team assuring that through communication and adherence to evidence-based guidelines, the quality of care is continuously maintained.

Steve would share this with someone who is considering a career in nursing: “If you enjoy helping people, nursing has many, diverse opportunities. Nurses are essential to the health care team. In many cases, they are the voice of that team. Many responsibilities fall on their shoulders and they must be willing to serve and must be adequately prepared for this work.”