Fundamentals of Acceptable Behavior in the Operating Room (Etiquette)

  • Annie P. Ehlers
  • Andrew S. Wright


This chapter aims to be an introduction into the fundamentals of behavior and communication in the OR, often referred to as “OR etiquette.” We review the evidence behind the increased understanding of the importance of behavior and communication in the OR, including a discussion on the importance of the “safety culture.” Next, we describe the key team members that are encountered in the OR to provide a basic framework for new medical students and residents. Also included is a discussion on communication, skills of leadership and followership, methods of giving and receiving feedback, and available programs for improving team communication and culture. Finally, we provide a few pointers for how OR etiquette can enhance the experience for all. While nothing can substitute the value of spending time in the OR learning these skills firsthand, understanding these basic tenets is an important first step for medical students and residents beginning their surgical training.


Teamwork Communication Patient safety 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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