We commenced within the operating theatre departments on 24th July and have since recorded ten individual cases within two different operating theatres. The decision to film within differing operating departments materialised from our initial time spent observing. We noted within this time that the two departments were observably different due to their location. The first department was a large busy and ‘transient’ operating department with a large turnover of staff and the second was a new but smaller operating department (only two theatres) with a more ‘stable’ team. Both departments are still within the same institution and surgeons tend to operate across both; however the nurse and ODP teams tend to stay within the same department. This observed difference has allowed us to film the same surgeon in both locations to see if the general organisation and ‘transient’ staff have an effect on communication.
Into the operating theatre we take two tripod-mounted wide-angle HD camcorders in order to capture different viewpoints of the theatre as well as two inconspicuous wireless microphones, worn by the surgeon and the scrub nurse.
Our first job when in the theatres is to consent the staff and patients and ensure everyone is happy with us to go ahead and film. We then have to set the equipment up, ensuring minimal disruption to the working environment. During the filming the cameras are repositioned to ensure the best visual field. Field-notes are collected and brief informal interviews are conducted with the participants.
So far we have filmed a mix of open and laparoscopic cases. Two consultant surgeons, two registrar surgeons, five scrub nurses, six circulating nurses, three anaesthetists and three ODP’s have been involved in the filming. There has been an overall positive response to the project from the healthcare professionals involved.