11

B.C. surgeons told to cut the hockey talk in operating room

Reminder comes after patient’s complaint


 

Surgeons in B.C. have been reminded not to chat about hockey and other unrelated topics while at work in the operating room after a patient complained that a surgeon was bantering about a hockey game with nurses. According to Dr. Heidi Oetter of the province’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, the patient was awake during an eye surgery and worried that the surgeon’s “idle chatter” might lead to a mistake, although the surgery went over fine. As a result, the College issued a “gentle reminder.”

CBC News


 
Filed under:

B.C. surgeons told to cut the hockey talk in operating room

  1. A good indication of the level of intelligence of Canadians. All want to be Don Cherrys.

  2. A good indication of the level of intelligence of Canadians. All want to be Don Cherrys.

  3. I could imagine some surgeons in Canada saying to themselves, "I gotta get out of this country".
    One can always count on enough small minds from the government stepping forward for stupidity such as this.

  4. I could imagine some surgeons in Canada saying to themselves, "I gotta get out of this country".
    One can always count on enough small minds from the government stepping forward for stupidity such as this.

  5. If not hockey, then what, politicks, or perhaps the state of health care? Which one is deadlier or est?

  6. If not hockey, then what, politicks, or perhaps the state of health care? Which one is deadlier or est?

  7. As a Canadian Anesthesiologist here is a letter I submitted to the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    The news agencies have apparently discovered your comments in the December issue of your quarterly report regarding hockey talk in the OR.

    As an FRCPC trained Anesthesiologists I am rather astounded by your comments. Regional and local anesthesia techniques are routinely used in our everyday practice and effort is made to INVOLVE the patient in non-medical conversation to ameliorate the stress and anxiety of an operation. Occasionally I even give the patient my portable phone so they can call their family in the waiting room to let them know that the operation has started and that things are going well! Imagine lying on a hard bed, in a cold room with a drape in front of you blocking all view of what is going on and you hear nothing other than the beeping of the ECG, the sound of the suction, the buzzing of the electrocautery (with associated smell of burning flesh). The surgeon and surgical team was not talking about their recent divorce or other similar topic or about other patients. They were talking about hockey, the national past-time of Canada. You even go so far as to state “Fortunately, this was not the case” as if to infer that it was lucky the surgeon was not distracted. Every surgeon I have ever worked with is fully capable of performing their work while holding on a conversation and this can actually allow things to progress smoothly. OR teams work together for 8-24hrs in a row, every day for years on end. Surgical teams are not robots and to bar any non-surgical talk for 8-10 hrs of the day, every day of work for the rest of these teams lives is unreasonable. At critical moments or during a crisis of course all small talk is stopped but I propose to bar non-medical conversation could result in a less coherent team that may work less effectively together.

    Just because you receive a complaint does not meet the complaint is reasonable and requires censure. The issue here is the patients perception that the conversation could distract the surgeon and this caused them anxiety. Every patient I give a local or regional anesthetic to I tell that if they are anxious to let me know as I can either reassure them or give them medication to help if reassurance is not enough. In this setting I (and the surgeon) would have told the patient that the conversation helps keep the surgeon “loose” and everything was progressing well. It is unfortunate that this did not seem to happen but I propose there are many more patients out there who would be MORE anxious by a silent operating room and should that more numerous number complain to you that they were left to lie in a silent OR with no distractions for 3 hours will you mandate we start having conversations again to distract our patients?

    Dr. Trevor Hennessey
    Trevorhennessey.com

  8. Here here Dr. Hennessey! "Just because [someone complains, it does not mean] the complaint is reasonable…"
    Do patients expect the medical staff to work in silence? I could understand complaining if they were using foul language or discussing other patients or co-workers in a demeaning way but they are talking about hockey. If the patient found it tedious, he/she should have introduced a different topic but to suggest they cannot work and talk at the same time, is ridiculous. The college registrar needs to give his/her head a shake.

  9. Here here Dr. Hennessey! "Just because [someone complains, it does not mean] the complaint is reasonable…"
    Do patients expect the medical staff to work in silence? I could understand complaining if they were using foul language or discussing other patients or co-workers in a demeaning way but they are talking about hockey. If the patient found it tedious, he/she should have introduced a different topic but to suggest they cannot work and talk at the same time, is ridiculous. The college registrar needs to give his/her head a shake.

  10. We are the numbest, self satisfied or least vexed conformists of what is to become a North American Security perimeter. That policy is on a need to know basis. You don't.
    Spend more time looking for the things your government isn't telling you instead of spilling dogma over page!
    Anyone for a cup of radio active milk or a plate of corexit catfish or bill c-36 (666) once c6 (666) or whatever?
    Just keep moving, there is nothing going on here.

  11. We are the numbest, self satisfied or least vexed conformists of what is to become a North American Security perimeter. That policy is on a need to know basis. You don't.
    Spend more time looking for the things your government isn't telling you instead of spilling dogma over page!
    Anyone for a cup of radio active milk or a plate of corexit catfish or bill c-36 (666) once c6 (666) or whatever?
    Just keep moving, there is nothing going on here.

Sign in to comment.