Assessing the Workplace Culture and Learning Climate in the Inpatient Operating Room Suite at an Academic Medical Center

J Surg Educ. 2019 May-Jun;76(3):644-651. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2018.09.014. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to elicit perspectives from operating room (OR) personnel on the workplace culture and learning climate in the surgical suite, and to identify behaviors associated with a positive culture and learning climate.

Design: Qualitative analyses using survey methodology.

Setting: Main hospital OR suite at a large academic medical center.

Participants: Nurses, faculty, and residents who work in the OR suite.

Results: To improve the OR environment, survey respondents (n = 60) recommended: (1) promoting a respectful "no blame" culture; (2) promoting social cohesion and cross-collaboration; (3) improving communication regarding performance feedback and patient safety; (4) building small interdisciplinary teams working toward common goals; and (5) improving learning opportunities that support professional growth.

Conclusions: Opportunities exist to improve the OR workplace culture and thereby the learning environment.

Keywords: Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Learning climate; Learning environment; Medical Knowledge; Organizational culture; Patient Care; Professionalism; Workplace culture.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires