I have always been lucky; no matter where I have worked, the RNs, techs, and surgeons were all buddies. We not only had the camaraderie of the operating room, but we had a common enemy--management--who seemed to take great pleasure in making it as difficult as possible to do good patient care, judging by their "bare bones" budget which meant: inadequate staffing, inferior, cheap suture, and instruments CONSTANTLY out for repair (NEVER repalcement; God forbid!)
I may take some flack for this, but--in my experience, the only surgeons who ever "went off" were the ones who CONTINUALLY got people in their rooms who had bad attitudes, and who didn't have a clue as to how to do the case and refused to learn. This usually happens in places where there is "cluster staffing-" peopel get so comfortable in one area (i.e., gyn) that they throw a tantrum and sulk and do a half-a**ed job when they have to step outside their little "niche" and do a thoracotomy or a craniotomy or a spinal instrumentation case. I have always liked to do some of everything. In the '70s and '80s, and even the early '90s we ALL rotated through every area, both scrubbing and circulating, otherwise you could not take call. If you did not know how to do something, you backscrubbed or circulated until you were proficient. Usually, young RNs and techs are eager to learn and get proficient, but management sticks them in one area upon new hire and that becomes their comfort zone. And what's up with the RNs who refuse to scrub? What makes them so self-important?
So, I can say I see the surgeons' side of it, too, when they have had repeated bad experiences--after all, they are dealing with human lives, and so are we. You would go off, too, if you nicked a major vessel, your patient was hemorrhaging, your experienced scrub called out for "a 5-0 Prolene" (which is always in the room, available for just this type of complication) and your circulator wandered out of the room, took her time, came back empty handed, and calmly inquired,"What kind of needle did you want that on?" Trust me, that is a true scenario. You (the scrub) just want to scream at the person, yourself, "Jesus, just get me a damn vascular stitch, ANYTHING, before this patient bleeds to death!" You can see why the surgeon might yell, "Get somebody in here who knows what they're doing!" I think EVERY RN should scrub, so that, when they circulate, they know FIRST HAND what is going on up at the field, and what could go wrong, and REALLY understand the situation, and be prepared for the worst.
If residents act like prima donnas? Put them in their places!! Most are only testing you if they do it. Most residents--attendings, too, for that matter-- I have worked with will do ANYTHING you ask them too, without complaint, if it helps get a case going.