Communication as a non-technical skill in the operating room: A qualitative study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Aim: The aim of this study was to explore how operating room nurses (ORNs) experience operating room (OR) team communication concerning non-technical skills. Design: Based on the Scrub Practitioners List of Intraoperative Non-Technical Skill (SPLINTS), qualitative individual in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 ORNs in a Norwegian university hospital. Braun and Clarke's six analytic phases for thematic data analysis were used. Results: Surgeons being unprepared or demanding different instruments than the preoperative information indicates, cause stress and frustration. So does noise and brusquely or poor communication. Ensuring good information flow within the entire team is important. When silence is required, the ORNs communicate with gestures, looks and nods. Creating a positive and secure team culture facilitates discussions, questions and information sharing. Conclusion: Inappropriate dynamics, inaccurate and/or disrespectful communication and noise may reduce patient safety. Interdisciplinary team training may bring attention to the value of communication as a non-technical skill.