Nurses to surgeons: Cut the music

Nurses to surgeons: Cut the music


norman lebrecht

August 05, 2015

A survey by the Journal of Advanced Nursing says surgeons should not be allowed the choose the music in theatre. There should be a decision by the whole team whether to play music or not, and which to play.

The survey found that in some instances team members could not hear what the surgeons were calling for during an operation, and that having to repeat instructions led to delays and possible danger.

The survey flies in the face of established wisdom, which is that music can assist calm and concentration in theatre.

Read the Journal article here.

Apparently, the first use of music in an operating theatre dates back to 1914. Anyone known where, who played, and what music?

surgeons music



  • James McCarty says:

    Remember your childhood story “The Little Red Hen,” the one where no one wanted to help bake the cake, but everyone wanted to eat it?

    A similar phenomenon is happening in medicine these days. Everyone from nurses to pharmacists to administrators wants the authority to make decisions, but if something goes wrong, the doctor will still get all the blame (and the lawsuit).

    • Janis says:

      If the surgeon will get all the blame should something go wrong, then it’s in their interest to make sure that their team can concentrate and thus remove any obstacles to this.

  • Jean Collen says:

    I don’t suppose surgeons or nurses would consult the patient whether music should be played during their operation? If the patient agrees to having music played they should also choose what kind of music is to be played in case they emerge from the anaesthetic prematurely and think they have died and gone to hell.