Background Effective communication skills in the operating room (OR) promote team behaviour and usually result in good patient outcomes. Communication and collaboration constitutes an integral role during this process both with patients and with inter-professionals when working in such a highly specialised setting as an OR. Patient and staff safety in the OR has never been investigated in Cyprus before.
Methods One of the most often used tools to assess safety culture in an organisation is the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) (The Evidence Centre, 2011 & Sexton et al, 2006). SAQ is a psychometric instrument used for evaluating healthcare providers and especially operating nurses’ attitudes regarding patient safety and climate. Six major factors are measured through the use of modified SAQ: teamwork climate, job satisfaction, management perception, safety climate, working conditions and stress recognition. A random sample of 112 OR nurses was studied from Makarios III Hospital which is one of the two major public hospitals in Nicosia.
Results The sample was comprised of 30 males and 82 females: the majority was working as permanent staff in the hospital and their experience varied from 0–25 years both in total as well as in the specific hospital. Overall participants believed that issues related to guidelines, teamwork and patient safety need further improvements. Males have significantly higher scores regarding experience with safety issues in the OR compared to their female counterparts. Interestingly, the lowest scores regarding nurses’ notions and opinions regarding OR safety were expressed by the most experienced participants, who had more than 25 years of work experience. This is an indication of the need for further improvements in the in-service training which currently takes place in the Cyprus health system.
Conclusions More experienced staff might be in need for education regarding more recent safety procedures and techniques followed in the OR.
- Patient safety
- Operating Room (OR)
- Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ)
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