Dissertations & Theses (Open Access)

Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)


Cathy Rozmus, PhD

Second Advisor

Melanie McEwen, PhD

Third Advisor

Gretchen Gemeinhardt, PhD


Background: Communication among the multidisciplinary team members in an operating room setting is essential for effective and safe patient care. Studies have previously addressed communication breakdowns among team members, and miscommunications have been demonstrated to significantly challenge efficiency in the operating room. Novice nurses play an integral role in the success of operating room procedures and must possess strong communication skills that facilitate optimal patient outcomes.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore novice nurses’ perceptions of factors that influence the dynamics of team communication in the operating room setting.

Methods: An inductive thematic, qualitative analysis of 11 semi-structured interviews with novice nurses working in an operating room was conducted to investigate communication dynamics as perceived by these participants and to suggest solutions to improve communications in this setting.

Findings: From the novice nurses’ perspectives, effective communication exists when multidisciplinary team members are informed about the cases and procedures they are assigned, work cooperatively as a team, and show respect for their patients and one another. Nurses identified situations where tension existed among multidisciplinary team members, which impacted patient care.

Conclusions: The novice nurses perceived that their comfort levels of communication increased as they worked longer, gained more experience, and developed positive relationships with members of the multidisciplinary team. The participants suggested increasing communication training during orientation to enhance communication in operating room settings.


novice nurse, operating room, multidisciplinary team, communication

Included in

Nursing Commons



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