A Moment of Science

How Does Your Surgeon Prepare For The Big Operation?

Surgeons have pretty tedious jobs. One mistake could result in the death of a patient. How do these professionals prepare for such stressful situations?

Four surgeons performing on patient

Photo: interplast (flickr)

Studies have shown that surgeons who practice beforehand make less mistakes when it comes time for the real thing

Being a surgeon, it’s a lot of pressure, having someone’s life in your hands. One mistake and you can kill someone. Fortunately, there are things surgeons can do to cut down on mistakes. Like, for instance, warming up before operating.

Practice Makes Perfect

Most of the time, surgeons prepare for surgery by going over the case and thinking about the procedure. But studies have shown that warming up by actually practicing the procedure or going through the hand motions of the surgery really helps.

In one study, doctors that warmed up this way had eighty-percent fewer errors than doctors who didn’t warm up. The surgeons practiced on a computer simulator.

Most hospitals have simulators, but they’re usually tucked away in a classroom or in the basement. But if there were a practice simulator near the OR, more surgeons could take a few minutes to warm up and perform better during the real thing.

Further Reading

If you’d like to learn more about  how surgeons prepare for operations, check out this article from MedPage Today.

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science