Are surgeon’s high levels of stress affecting patient safety?
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is taking action. After surveying a little over 500 hospital staff and trainees all across the UK, the results indicated surgeons need proper breaks to improve patient safety.
Surgeon Break Room & Patient Safety
Lack of communication, high levels of stress, and inadequate team work all indicate an inadequate work environment for surgeons. Not only does improper rest have a negative effect on doctors, but it also risks the lives of their patients.
The report conducted by the RCSEd emphasizes the lack of proper facilities. Most surgeons do not have a facility to eat, relax, and take their breaks in private. There is a shortage of such facilities in most hospitals in the UK. Many doctors cannot take a break in private without being disrupted by patients or their relatives.
The report was written by Simon Paterson-Brown and Richard McGreggor who added, “With the immense financial strain and staffing problems facing the NHS it is essential we look seriously at how we can improve the whole working environment for all those delivering front line surgical care.”
Additionally, a lack of time for training was mentioned in the report. Often times surgeons are given training after working late hours or during late night hours. The combination of restlessness and poor training will affect the work of surgeons
“While the issues facing the NHS are broad and complex, we should not lose sight of the fact that strain within the system ultimately has an impact upon individual lives.”, said Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones, RCSEd President and Connsultant General and Colorectal Surgeon.
While medical simulation and training with cutting-edge technology can drastically improve patient safety, there are several other aspects that can vary the results. Taking care of a patient is a team effort and the lack of communication between trainees, doctors, surgeons, and even nurses can negatively affect patient safety