October 2001 Bulletin

NAON honors Dr. Tipton for ‘liaison’ role

The 2001 honorary membership award from the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) was bestowed on William W. Tipton Jr., MD, AAOS executive vice president. The award was presented at the NAON’s national convention June 9-13 in New Orleans. This special honor is conferred to a person who is not a member of NAON, who has exemplified the mission and vision of the organization.

"When we think about Dr. Tipton’s efforts, we feel he’s been a wonderful advocate," says Anita Meehan, RN, immediate past president. "This award provided us an opportunity to express our gratitude to Dr. Tipton for his continued support of NAON’s mission and his dedication to his role as the Academy’s liaison to NAON."

"Caught by surprise" by the award, Dr. Tipton says, "I’ve never considered this as a formal liaison position. Because of my position with the Academy, I’ve attended their annual meeting, board meetings and projects each year, and have become very involved in what they’re doing."

Collaborative efforts between Dr. Tipton and NAON began in 1996 when NAON invited the Academy’s leadership to make remarks during its annual meeting. According to Dr. Tipton, the relationship developed from there—resulting in a number of joint efforts. This past year, NAON was presented as a specialty society and formally introduced at the Academy’s 2001 Annual Meeting. Future collaborative projects include NAON’s participation in the Academy’s National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference, and the formulation of a D-Day exhibit that shows the involvement of orthopaedics from both a physician and nursing perspective.

It’s important to encourage collaborative efforts among various members of the medical team, Dr. Tipton says, and to be willing to recognize the efforts they expend on behalf of patient care. It’s also important to recognize that you never know where the collaborative efforts are going to pay off.

"In my experience, there’s always some payback in working together," Dr. Tipton says. "It makes sense to collaborate on any effort—education, advocacy and public relations. Together, we’re much more effective than we are individually. We as physicians may see the patient for approximately 15 minutes a day. Nurses have to be with the patients almost constantly to provide care and report on progress."

Meehan adds that "communication is the key."

"Patients see physicians and nurses as the ultimate health care team," she says. "It is vital to take every opportunity to share ideas and expertise and to find creative ways to partner not only at the bedside, but also through professional associations…Dr. Tipton has been steadfast in keeping the communication going in areas where we have a shared interest. He has been very willing to communicate our ideas and give response and feedback. He’s an invaluable asset providing NAON with a vital link to the Academy."

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