Who are the Members of a Surgical Team?

Most surgical teams consist of a variety of professionals, all of whom play an important role in protecting patient safety and privacy in the operating room. The staff inside the operating room includes the surgeon, their assistants, a cleaning person, an anesthesiologist, and a circulating nurse. Each member of the team has a specific role to play in order to create an atmosphere that is beneficial to the patient. The surgical team is divided into two categories: sterile and non-sterile. Sterile staff are dressed in special surgical gowns, masks, hats, gloves, and dosimeter badges.

They are only allowed to move in the sterile area and use sterile instruments. Non-sterile members can only move in the non-sterile zone and handle equipment that is not considered sterile. They are responsible for stocking the surgeons and dealing with any issues that may arise during the operation. All members of the team must be excellent communicators and work well together. There are many specialties within the field of surgery, such as neurosurgeons who specialize in brain and nervous system treatments or cardiovascular surgeons who specialize in cardiac or arterial operations.

The surgeon and their first assistant (or second if necessary) are considered sterile members of the team. Using various instruments, they correct anatomical deformities, repair or replace tissues and bones after injuries, or perform preventive surgeries. For all surgical procedures, there is a sterile member called a nurse or surgical technologist who organizes the instruments and passes them to the surgeon when needed. They are also responsible for the Mayo post (the sterile tray with the instruments).The non-sterile circulating nurse is responsible for preparing the room and supervising cleanliness after the procedure. They are also responsible for organizing anything special that may be needed during the operation.

The anesthesiologist is a non-sterile member who is responsible for anesthetizing the patient during surgery. This doctor administers the appropriate anesthesia and then stays next to the patient's head to monitor their vital signs (pulse, ECG, oxygen, etc.). They also ensure that straps are not too tight and that the patient's body is not stretched or twisted. Other non-sterile members include technicians who install devices that monitor vital functions, cleaners who prepare rooms for surgeries, or laundry staff who provide clean clothes to the hospital. These people often go unnoticed by the general public but without them, hospitals would not be able to function properly. Surgical care professionals (SCPs) are non-medical professionals such as nurses, operations department professionals, or physical therapists who have expanded their training to work as members of surgical teams.

The classic surgery department of a hospital requires operating rooms with a professional surgical team to perform operations. Frequent changes in team members should be avoided since they are a professional and well-coordinated team. After completing F2 basic surgical training positions, surgeons gain experience in performing different surgical procedures. The classic surgery department also provides doctors for emergency patient treatment in the emergency room or supports emergency physicians with consultations in cases of surgical emergencies. In surgical teams, foundation doctors primarily focus on preparing patients and observing procedures performed by surgical trainees.

Dán Luu
Dán Luu

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