We all have something that we consider lucky or practice for good luck or to perform better. Before an exam, a student may say a small prayer or wear a particular pair of pants. A chef may have a “lucky knife” or apron. A teacher may start the day with a small activity in class. Doctors are no different, they too have rituals and habits that they indulge in to bring out the best results in surgery. These habits that surgeons practice to perform better develop as a result of continuous positive results in performing them. Surgeons are said to have matured on the basis of performance feedback, a set of habits or habits that have helped them work better while approaching a challenging surgery.
Let’s have a look at some highly effective habits that surgeons practice or could implement:
Giving rest to the mind and body: A good night’s well-rested sleep will go a long way. Since the surgeon needs to be alert, not working out the day before and of the surgery will prevent them from muscle ache and tightness during the surgery. A few stretching exercises are however recommended as it will help with the neck and back issues ophthalmologists frequently face. But not just the body requires rest, the mind does too. An exhausted mind will make one more tired than a physical activity.
Reviewing the case: Now this is logical and most definitely important. There is a fine line between reviewing the surgical approach and over-analyzing and stressing over a challenging case. While we are not asking surgeons to go deranged over the case, they need to pay attention to details that might cause complications during surgery. A thorough review of the file must be done so the surgeon is familiar with the facts and demands of the patient. For instance, reviewing the intraocular lens (IOL) selection & power to make sure it is the one that was ordered by the patient.
Refrain from drinking the night before surgery: No one wants a hungover surgeon to operate them. Besides drinking before surgery may cloud the surgeon’s judgment, making room for critical errors. In order to be a successful operation, the surgeon has to be mindful of what will affect him and how.
Doctors and surgeons are well aware of the responsibility they carry when they entire an operation theatre. Developing a set of helpful habits to prepare for it is common across all surgeons of different specialties. While some of the rituals they practice may seem superstitious to the common eye, do not be quick to judge, it may have an underlined meaning.