The Surgical Suite – Review

This is an anthropological essay about behavior in the operating room. The author observed facial feminization surgery in two different operating rooms. He concludes that operating rooms are not just impersonal places, but can be both sterile and intimate.

I’m not sure what you can really conclude about operating rooms from observing two operations, especially when the presence of an anthropologist may change people’s behavior and make them talk more about what they are doing.

What he saw, however, was important to transgender patients.

In one operating room, the doctors and nurses discussed what FFS would mean to the patient. They seemed to be glad to be helping someone achieve their dreams.

In the other operating room, one nurse was completely unable to handle using the correct pronouns. At one point she put “it” on a chart.

This is a 2013 study, not something from the past.

For transgender patients, it is vital to have surgical and hospital staff who will use the correct pronouns. Everyone needs to be well educated in this area.

Patients seeking surgery need to look for understanding health care providers.

Original Article:

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