Stress in the operating theatre: a model for optimising learning and teamwork. Jeremy Simcock

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Theatre is an important but stressful learning environment.  Traditionally acute stress has been described quantitatively (lower levels as eustress and higher levels as distress).  Our qualitative study explored the origins and effects of stress through interviews with surgeons, trainees, nurses, and anaesthetists from elective surgical teams.
We found that acute stress was commonly experienced but variable.  The individual’s experience depended on an assessment of demands and resources available.  Rather than an individual quantitative view, we present a qualitative model.  It is characterized by the interaction of communication, task focus and relationships between team members to maintain either a positive or negative stress environment.

Jeremy is a NZ trained plastic surgeon who enjoys working with a broad range of other surgical specialties including upper limb and cancer reconstruction. He is involved in the tendon transfer surgery service for spinal injured, along with the Osteointegration service for traumatic amputees. He teaches at the University of Otago, Christchurch and has recently completed a Masters of Surgical Education.