Your Thoughts Requested

  1. My husband and I have been having this discussion since my DR recently found a nodule on my thyroid. What do you think or what would DR's think of a spouse requesting to be in the operating room during a surgery? Do you think it is possible, have you ever had anyone request this. I know it is probably something that people just don't address with their DR's but my husband is adament about this stuff, not wanting if something should happen for me to be alone with strangers if i should pass away. Your thoughts and ideas will be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 91 Comments

  3. by   RN 2005
    Just wishing you the best.....
  4. by   nurseunderwater
    My only experience....I put on scrubs and was with my son...holding him...till he was under, pre-op. Out pt surgi-center... I am not sure what they will say for you...I suppose ultimately it is the operating Docs decision...

    good luck and keep us posted

    Kate
  5. by   orrnlori
    I work in an operating room and I can't imagine any reason or rule that would allow a spouse into the OR just because they demand it. Your husband is not being reasonable. We have a job to do in the OR, we can't have every one in there. Even with high risk prisoners, the guards must go through security and be approved to sit outside the OR doors. They absolutely cannot come into the OR room itself. Your husband needs to trust the professional staff that is there to perform your surgery. I doubt you will find any hospital that will allow it even if the doctor says it's okay.
  6. by   orrnlori
    Oh, and unless you are extremely unhealthy, thyroid surgery is very very successful. There is no reason to think you would pass away during the surgery. I know surgery of any kind is scary, I've had several myself, but you are not going to die in the OR. Assure your husband.
  7. by   ARmickie
    I had the same surgery done about 8 years ago, and no, they would not allow my husband to be in the OR. "Liability issues" is the reason given. My surgery was successful at the time, although another nodule has came up on the remaining portion of my thyroid. One note.. IF there is ANY possibility that you may be pregnant, demand both a urine and blood test before surgery. I went back for my six week surgicial check up... was informed during that visit that I was six weeks pregnant. I had no idea. Hospital claimed to have done a urine test, but ... ??? Good luck. I don't think your husband is being unreasonable at all. Losing a loved one and not being there is a very real concern to most people. But, I agree that the surgery is normally not life threatening. I personally am not comfortable with the potential risks involved in it, but when you have to have it done, all you can do is leave it in God's hands.. you'll be fine! Let me know if I can help you in any way.. I've been there, and I know how you're both feeling at this point.
  8. by   camay1221_RN
    When I worked PP, we never allowed dads to be in the circ room. Mainly because, you just never knew which dad would be the one to lose it and pass out!!! The MD's and the staff need to focus their attention on you, and with your husband in the room, it may cause a major distraction, especially if he passes out!!! Maybe your husband isn't squeamish by nature, but I'm sure he has never been present to see someone he loves be cut open.
  9. by   CIRQL8
    I, too, work in the OR. Sometimes special circumstances require a loved one to be in the OR for induction (going under) only, i.e. mental issues, language barrier, age (young, that is), etc. But even in those cases, the person is quickly escorted out before intubation.


    I do not know what it is that your husband does for a living, but I can't imagine any spouce even wanting to be present for that. I saw a video of my wife's laparoscopy and I got queezy!! (different when it is your wife!) I would never want to see her under anesthesia, intubated and all.

    Also, for every extra person in the OR risks go up. As Lori said, we have a job to do. we cannot have a 'layperson' possibly getting in the way. And if he DOES pass out (or something) then we have two patients to look after. When my patient is in the OR they get my full and undivided attention. They are my one and only concern.

    You WILL be safe in the OR!!

    When a very sick patient is due for surgery, special time is usually allotted to family to say good bys (at least see you laters). But, in the OR, you have to be REALLY sick (or already dead) to die on the table. It is a different place. Your viatls, if unstable, are treated in the OR.

    But - I'm getting far off the subject.

    You will be cared for in the OR by the following: At least one scrub (a technician specially trained or a nurse), A circulating nurse (always an RN), an anesthesiologist and/or a nurse anesthetist, the surgeon, and a resident (possibly) if it is a teaching hospital. All these people for just one patient!! It should be so nice on general nursing floors.

    Please feel confident that all will be well!!

    -Dave

    sorry for any spelling errors I type fast, and watch the key pad more than the screen!
  10. by   weezieRN
    thanks for the replies and i know everyone has a job to do etc and don't want the added trouble of someone else in the room but he is not the least bit squeamish, watched all my births, guts deer etc. Do people not have a heart out there...... What is the difference if someone passes away on a med/surg unit than in the OR don't you want family to be there instead of strangers, but i guess that doesn't matter because the pt won't be any of the wiser and that is my point exactly. Isn't this a "consumer oriented " industry now do what the families want to make the surveys and scores good. Why would anyone have a problem with it, if something should happen not saying it will to have someone sitting their quietly just observing. Do pts have consent forms signed for students to be in the room during a surgery, i think not, what is the difference. Just my opinions
  11. by   orrnlori
    Quote from weezieRN
    thanks for the replies and i know everyone has a job to do etc and don't want the added trouble of someone else in the room but he is not the least bit squeamish, watched all my births, guts deer etc. Do people not have a heart out there...... What is the difference if someone passes away on a med/surg unit than in the OR don't you want family to be there instead of strangers, but i guess that doesn't matter because the pt won't be any of the wiser and that is my point exactly. Isn't this a "consumer oriented " industry now do what the families want to make the surveys and scores good. Why would anyone have a problem with it, if something should happen not saying it will to have someone sitting their quietly just observing. Do pts have consent forms signed for students to be in the room during a surgery, i think not, what is the difference. Just my opinions
    In my hospital, within the body of the consent form, it is indicated that we are a teaching hospital and there may/may not be students in the room during the surgery. This is entirely different than having a family member in the OR. The students are there to observe and learn and watch for a reason. We are there to teach them otherwise no one could ever be a surgeon or a surgical nurse or an anesthesiologist, and the patient's permit observation when they sign the consent form.

    The OR is not the same as the unsterile room that a med/surg patient is in. It's not the same as a birthing room or delivery room. It's a sterile environment with fields that must be protected and procedures that must be adhered to for the safety of the patient and for the best outcome for the patient. It can't be compared to family sitting in a patient's room, there's no comparison. These are invasive prodedures requiring total life support from anesthesia while being performed.

    Look at it this way. If your husband were to be allowed in, then they would have to let everyone have a family member in the OR. Not everyone is as un-squeemish as you husband. Not everyone could be unemotional while their wife/husband was being cut on. Think to some of the family members you've probably dealt with and surely you can see why we couldn't let family members in to faint, puke, cry, etc. as well as start making demands while the patient is open on the table.

    As far as customer service, well, again, the reason the OR's are set up as they are is to provide the best care for the patient and to promote the best outcome. I guess the day that customer service lends itself to allowing any and all people to bring family and friends into the OR is the day we are all doomed for sure. It will never come to that.

    I'm sorry you can't understand why things are as they are. Maybe you could spend the day in the OR with another nurse and then maybe you'll understand why the rules are why they are. Also, I really think you need to understand that you aren't going to die on the OR table so there is no reason for him to be there. You are going to do just fine if they decide they need to operate.
  12. by   Katnip
    Having a family member can be a real danger in an OR. You just never know what might set someone off. Lay people, especially won't understand a lot of what's going on and may misinterpret it.

    Your husband may be a perfectly rational person, but it just isn't feasible to allow family members in. Labor and delivery is an entirely different environment than an OR.
  13. by   ARmickie
    Perhaps there could be a compromise here. I know that when I had my first daughter, it was an emergency C section, and they thought that both baby and I would die. As much as my DH wanted to be in there, he knew that he couldn't. However, he was allowed to gown up and put the gloves and everything else on, and then sit immediately outside the OR doors. Had anything happened to me, he would have been right there. Granted, he wouldn't have been IN the room, but he was mere seconds away. God watched over us, as I am sure he will you as well, and all were remarkably fine. Perhaps if your doctors know well in advance how important this is to you, they may be willing to make a concession.. he wouldn't be IN there, but he might be able to get a little closer than the waiting room.
  14. by   weezieRN
    I'm sorry you can't understand why things are as they are. Maybe you could spend the day in the OR with another nurse and then maybe you'll understand why the rules are why they are. Also, I really think you need to understand that you aren't going to die on the OR table so there is no reason for him to be there. You are going to do just fine if they decide they need to operate. orrnlori,
    I do understand the way things are in the OR that is why I am making such a bold statement, there is room for family if they are calm cool and collected, yes sure there is a time and place for everything and I think this is the time and place, Are you GOD, no i dare say not! I have known of some cases of general surgeries like lap chole's get extremely hairy with unknown cardiac arrythmias or just even that that occurs within the first minutes of anesthesia as you i am sure can well attest. NO offense but why such a chip on your shoulder, husbands are allowed in with the delivery of a csection, do you think that is not major surgery? NOT. This is just like anywhere else in the hospital setting, if you are disorderly, can not take the stress or get ill at the site of blood or needles you shouldnt be there, but what is the harm setting at the head of the bed or in the corner somewhere just to be close by. I am sure if asked or with papers from a lawyer they would allow you in or it is something to say for the hospital and its staff. My husband is willing to sign any paper imagineable. I think it is true love and devotion to be at the side of your spouse praying in their time of need

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