Lorenza Mondada

Coordinating actions in the operating theatre. The creation of a common space of vision, action and participation in the interaction

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Workplace studies, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, video, surgery, anatomy, visual field, decision-taking, team work, collaboration.

This paper offers an analysis of surgical practices based on a corpus of video-recorded laparoscopic operations. In the setting studied, the operation is performed with an endoscopic camera inserted in the body of the patient: the surgical staff operates on the patient while looking at the camera. This image, as well as that of the patient's body, is transmitted live to an audience in a distant amphitheatre, to a group of experts and to a group of advanced trainees. This setting represents a specific case of tele-medicine, in which both tele-expertise and tele-teaching are taking place. The paper studies the way in which the participants manage their different access to and perspectives of the operating theatre for the activities in which they are engaged: operating the patient, creating a relevant visual field of the anatomy, taking decisions, discussing the public availability of the surgical gestures. Detailed analyses focus on the achievement of a common visual space for both the operation and its demonstration; of a common participation framework allowing surgeons, experts and trainees to interact together; and the divulgence of surgical procedures, allowing for collective discussion and critiques. In this way, the paper aims at contributing to the growing literature within workplace studies, inspired by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis.

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