A study conducted to analyze the competence of medical staff in the operating room, has revealed that nurses exhibit the highest level of teamwork and increased awareness regarding operating room safety. // Surprisingly, doctors were found to rate the lowest with respect to teamwork.
The survey, called the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), was adapted from an airline industry questionnaire and applied to the health care environment. The SAQ, developed by a Johns Hopkins-led team, contains 65 questions in six areas relating to safety, including teamwork climate, safety climate, job satisfaction, perceptions of management, stress recognition and working conditions. Results appear in the May issues of the Annals of Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Only 65 percent of OR personnel thought surgeons exhibited a high or very high level of teamwork. In contrast, 83.5 percent of those surveyed believed general surgical nurses exhibit a high or very high level of teamwork and 85 percent rated certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) as showing a high or very high level of teamwork. Anesthesiologist rated third at 79 percent.
'The SAQ provides hospitals with an accurate method for rating safety in the OR because it asks frontline caregivers about the OR work environment,' says lead researcher Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 'Results, like those telling us that surgeons rate poorly in teamwork, help target areas for improved communication and provide a benchmark for rating strategies aimed at improving patient safety.'
Makary says other questions, like ones that directly ask OR teams members if they would feel comfortable being operated on in their own hospitals, send a clear message regarding patient safety concerns in the OR.
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