Health Professions February 11, 2020
New survey raises concerns about wellbeing of theatre practitioners

By Francesco Tamilia - Accountable Care Journal

More than 80 per cent of the 800 theatre practitioners who undertook a recent survey confessed they are worried about their wellbeing and the effect it has on patient care.

The survey, carried out by the Association for Perioperative Practice, indicates that bullying is a major factor with 86 per cent of theatre practitioners reporting that they have witnessed bullying within the perioperative environment on more than one occasion.

Of those who took part in the survey, 71 per cent revealed that they had also been a victim of bullying themselves.

In addition, 73 per cent said they would feel able to speak up and report the instances, as opposed to over a quarter of respondents who reported feeling that they would be too scared to make a formal complaint.

Key findings:

  • 86 per cent of theatre practitioners witnessed bullying within the perioperative environment
  • 39 per cent of theatre practitioners asked to do things outside of their role scope
  • 86 per cent of theatre practitioners concerned about patient safety due to bullying in the workplace

Commenting on the results of the survey, Dawn Stott, Chief Executive of the Association said: “We are all very aware of the concerns about poor mental health amongst perioperative professionals but it’s alarming to hear about the impact practitioners feel it is having on patient safety.

“It is more important than ever that we find ways to improve the negative culture within operating theatres and help practitioners maintain the high quality of patient care they expect and strive to provide. ”

The independent, anonymous online survey was completed by 712 theatre practitioners from across the UK, all of whom stated they were registered healthcare professionals and whose roles fell under the umbrella of operating department practitioners, theatre nurses, scrub nurses, anaesthetists or recovery nurses.

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