- 86% of theater practitioners saw bullying in the perioperative environment
- 39% of theater practitioners asked to do things outside of their roles
- 86% of theater practitioners worry about patient safety because of workplace bullying
The poor mental health of nurses and the impact on patient care are one of the most discussed issues in healthcare. However, a recent survey by the Association for Perioperative Practice has shown that these issues may go far beyond nurses in an area where patient safety is just as important; the operating room.
According to a survey of nearly 800 theater practitioners, a worrying 86% are concerned about staff well-being and the impact on patient safety, with the results suggesting that bullying is one of the main factors that raise their concern.
When asked if they would feel able to speak up and report bullying, 73% said they did, and more than a quarter said they were too scared to file a formal complaint ,
While bullying in the operating room was the main concern of respondents, the survey also found that an alarming number of theater practitioners – 39% – are often asked to do things outside of their area of work.
In addition, 25% of respondents said they felt too anxious to say no when asked to do things that they are not qualified to do or that they are not allowed to do in their practice.
Dawn Stott, CEO of the association, commented the results of the survey as follows: “We are all well aware of the perceived mental health concerns of perioperative professionals, but it is alarming to hear the impact practitioners have on patient safety.
“It is more important than ever to find ways to improve the negative culture in operating theaters and to help doctors maintain the high quality of patient care that they expect and strive for.”
The independent, anonymous online survey was completed by 712 theater practitioners from across the UK. All indicated that they were registered health professionals and that their responsibilities were under the umbrella of surgeons, theater nurses, peeling nurses, anesthesiologists or recovery nurses.
The results are part of the first phase of AfPP’s survey analysis, which will be released in three phases as part of the “Caring for those who care” campaign.
The campaign to explore how best to improve negative cultures in the operating room and raise awareness of the impact on patient safety will be a focus for AfPP in 2020.
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