Editorial  |   October 2013
Using Technology in the O.R.
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D
    ASA NEWSLETTER
    Editor
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Education / CPD / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Quality Improvement / Editorial
Editorial   |   October 2013
Using Technology in the O.R.
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 10 2013, Vol.77, 4-5.
A faculty member does not have to be a program director to be concerned about the influx of communications technology into the O.R. Elsewhere in this NEWSLETTER, Drs. Jai Mehta and Peter Killoran address “Anesthesia and Mobile Technology: ‘Meaningful Use’ of Small Screens.” They rightly discuss the issues of “Distraction, Disruption and Interruption.”
Let’s look back to 1989, the year I completed my anesthesiology residency. Even then, there were faculty who were uneasy with resident distractions in the O.R. For those faculty, it was inappropriate for a resident to be doing anything in the O.R. other than taking care of a given patient. Thus, the resident was to commit his or her entire focus to that patient. In the view of these faculty, and perhaps rightly so, we, as residents – as learners – should be devoting our entire concentration to the minute- by-minute, even second-by-second, management of a successful anesthetic. To be caught reading a textbook, or even worse, the newspaper or doing a crossword puzzle, was tantamount to shirking one’s responsibility to learn, not to mention the responsibility to the patient. Consider the legal doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, “the thing speaks for itself.” We knew that the mere act of reading while in the O.R. revealed that we were not giving our total concentration to the patient. Thus, it was a measure of professionalism that we kept our attention riveted to our patients and not a journal or newspaper.
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