Have you ever had surgery or been in a surgical theatre and noticed that every member of the medical staff is dressed exactly the same?
Of course, the highly trained professionals aren’t just making a fashion statement. Scrubs are supposed to be sanitary to protect the patient from harmful bacteria, and wearing them is just as important as surgeons washing their hands or instruments before operating.
While it’s clear that doctors match outfits for medical reasons, one doctor from Sydney named Rob Hackett pointed out that not being able to distinguish members of medical staff during surgery can be dangerous.
Dr. Rob decided to alleviate the problem by writing his name and what type of doctor he is right on his surgical cap.
It might look a bit strange at first, but Dr. Rob’s idea has actually really taken off around the world and is even helping to save lives.
[H/T: Daily Mail]
Dr. Rob created the #TheatreCapChallenge on December 10, 2017, as a way to encourage other medical professionals to join in cause.
Dr. Rob admits that, at first, he caught some flack from colleagues — like being asked if he’d forgotten his own name.
Even if name tags are a little silly, Dr. Rob explains that many doctors work in multiple hospitals and aren’t always familiar with their surgical team by name or profession.
This can lead to mistakes and threaten patient safety.
It all makes a lot more sense when you look at the surgical team from this angle. If it weren’t for the names, how would anyone know who is who?
It’s not a reassuring thought for those of us who have gone under the knife.
Dr. Rob tried to encourage his fellow staff to join in for the following reasons:
Do it and you introduce an obvious simple solution to improve patient care and outcomes.
Don’t do it and you demonstrate how healthcare, institutions, frameworks and culture are resistant to change and improvement.
Clearly, most of the folks at Dr. Rob’s hospital are onboard, which is great news for the patients they will be operating on.
By having their names on their surgical caps, medical staff can save valuable time and avoid the types of mix-ups that lead to further complications.
He even recalls incidents in which medical students were mistaken for seasoned veteran surgeons and accidentally asked to do something they weren’t qualified for.
Plenty of other patient-safety advocates have taken on the #TheatreCapChallenge and are promoting this simple solution.
However, it won’t be over until every member of the operating staff has their names on their surgical caps.
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