If I could wave a magic wand, and change anything about the OR I work in, it would be how cases are scheduled. I work in a cardio-thoracic OR with 6 surgeons. Cases are boarded inconsistently. By that I mean, have a ton of cases on one day, and none the next.
It is hard to schedule the correct number of staff on any given day. I work 12 hours of overtime one day, and then am sent home low census the next. It is a big source of discontentment for the staff, not to mention, a big drain on the budget due to overtime being paid out.
When we are busy, we do not have enough nurses, but when we are slow, we have too many. Due to the fluctuations, Management says the numbers do not justify hiring more people.
I feel like if cases were spread out more throughout the week, I would have less days of no lunch during the busy times, and cases to do during the slower times, instead of flexing off when I can't afford it.
I realise not every case is elective, and some things you cannot plan for. However, I think if we better managed the cases that are scheduled weeks in advance, the day would go smoother in the OR.