|Looks about right for an anesthesia work space.|
Anesthesiologists are frequently an afterthought when it comes to designing operating rooms. I've worked in operating rooms so small there was literally just enough space for the patient gurney to get wheeled in and no room to walk around it once the patient was inside. I've worked in rooms that were literally former janitorial storage rooms. I vividly remember administering anesthesia in rooms so tiny that when you went to relieve the anesthesiologist inside, that person had to get out first before you could squeeze yourself into the space. There was just enough room for the anesthesiologist to stand in place, never mind a space for a chair.
|A dream space for the anesthesiologist.|
All that discomfort and disrespect for the anesthesiologist may be changing. The New York Times has written about a revolution in operating room design. The article follows the OR remodels taking place at the Medical University of South Carolina. Led by Dr. Scott T. Reeves, the chair of the department of anesthesia and perioperative services at the hospital, they are making OR's that are bigger and far more accommodating for all the staff. They even take into account how to future proof the new rooms, deciding where to place bulky equipment like X-rays and robotic surgery that are used with increasing frequency during operations.
This is a far more professional way to design the operating rooms than what I've witnessed in the past. I remember when we were opening a new wing of the hospital and the anesthesia department had its first chance to see how the operating rooms would look. We had absolutely no input into the space during the design phase. They never asked for nor received any input from the anesthesiology department. Needless to say, the placement of the anesthesia equipment was suboptimal, almost dangerously so.
Upon review of the blueprints, we noted that the rooms were drawn with plenty of space around the operating table for the surgeon. However, the anesthesia machines and carts were not drawn to a realistic scale and were squeezed into the corners of the rooms. Our anesthesia machines were easily twice the width and depth of the models that were used in the blueprints. To this day, we still have problems with placing the machines in the proper locations to ensure patient safety. But the surgeons have plenty of space to do their work though.
I'm glad hospitals like MUSC, Stanford, and Loma Linda are not forgetting the needs of all the staff in the operating rooms. Surgeons may think they walk on water in the OR, but without consideration for all the other professionals in the OR, they and their patients would sink pretty quickly.