Have you ever wondered what is going on inside a typical operating room in a hospital? You probably watched a medical drama before and observed the intricacies of the equipment, the highly stressful environment, and the competitive surgeons. Most of the surgical procedures seen on TV may be deemed inaccurate by medical professionals. However, everyone can agree that creating a comfortable atmosphere in an operating room is necessary—for reducing the stress of the staff and for the patients to have a successful surgery.
With so much at stake, the staff should be at the top of their game to give the patient the best chance of a successful surgery and recovery outcome. Every moment in an operating room should be calculated as every move counts. So, here’s what to consider in making the operating room as comfortable as possible for the staff and patients:
1. Regulating Room Conditions
The operating room (OR) or the surgery center is a hospital facility where all surgical procedures are performed. Thus, it’s required to be sterile to avoid contamination and the risks of infection. It’s designed and furnished with specialized equipment to accommodate a patient’s condition. There are also different types of operating rooms depending on what surgical procedure is being performed. To make the OR comfortable, here are the factors that need to be considered first:
General equipment and surgical tools
Ensuring that the OR has the right tools, equipment, and supplies replenished before the surgery starts is a must. For instance, hospitals that are recently renovated have installed ceiling-mounted equipment called boom where the surgical lights, flat panel monitors, and other necessary equipment is attached. This maximizes the space of the operating room and helps the enhanced mobility of the surgical lights.
An alternative to this is a surgical headlight which is useful in performing complicated microsurgeries that are often too small to see. BFW provides the best surgical headlights in terms of providing uniform illumination and increasing visual clarity.The right surgical headlights will ensure surgical precision and efficiency, reduce distractions in the OR, and minimize eye strain and fatigue.
Here are some of the other equipment and tools that should be present during a surgery:
- Operating/Surgical table: This is where the patient lies during the surgical procedure. Its purpose is to keep the patient in place as the surgeon operates on him/her. It also comes with a safety strap to prevent the patient from unnecessary movements
- Back tables: These tools are considered to be staple inside the operating room. This is a table covered in the blue cloth where all the sterilized instruments, sutures, and sponges were placed.
- Warming cabinets: These are used in storing the warm intravenous (IV) fluid, blankets and linens. The purpose of this is to reduce the risk of the patient getting hypothermia as maintenance of the normal body temperature is challenging during surgery.
- Optimal temperature
Due to the intensified risks of infection, the presence of immunocompromised patients, and its impact on the performance of health care providers, it’s a must to regulate the temperature inside an operating room. The CDC endorses the parameters of American Institute of Architects for the operating room ventilation:
- Temperature range: 68°Fto 73°F
- Humidity: 30% to 60%
However, the inverse relationship between temperature and humidity is difficult to maintain because if you raise one parameter, the other one will decrease which might surpass the recommended range. In line with this, it’s recommended to use devices that will maintain one parameter without compromising the other.
2. Enhancing Staff Performance
Of course, the staff who will perform a surgical procedure should be at the top of their game. A highly reliable surgical team consists of at least the surgeon, surgeon’s assistant, surgical tech, the circulating nurse, and the anesthesiologist. However, this may vary depending on the type of surgery that will be performed.
To avoid the risk of contamination, the surgical team should be in proper attire or scrubs which includes: a protective cap for their hair, gloves for their hands, masks for covering their mouths and noses, long gowns for their clothes, and glasses for their eyes. Another small detail that is often overlooked is wearing comfortable shoes. This significantly enhances the efficiency of the staff as they often take long hours or even a day just to complete a surgical procedure.
3. Assuring Patients
To avoid inducing anxiety and confusion, the patients who are scheduled for surgery should be contacted before the procedure. The reason for this is to give the patient instructions and to help them prepare for it. This is often conducted by the staff from the surgical team. The moment before the surgery, the instructions should be iterated to the patient and their immediate family members including the preoperative fasting, anesthesia, medications, and postoperative care. Aside from that, history taking and physical examination can help ensure the risk factors of complications and assess the patient’s compatibility and tolerance to the anesthesia.
With life hanging on the balance, the operating room can be an extremely stressful environment for both the staff and the patients. Creating the necessary conditions to mitigate the nerve-wracking atmosphere is a must. Preparing the OR beforehand and regulating the room’s parameters are also necessary steps in saving a life. Furthermore, the efficiency of the surgical team can be greatly enhanced if they’re in their proper attire.
Of course, the welfare and comfort of the patient are of primary importance. Assuring them beforehand by giving them a step-by-step procedure of their surgery will make help calm their worries. This should result in a successful operation and faster recovery, which is the desired end goal of any patient and medical professional.