Lack of sufficient personnel in the operating room is a definite limitation to optimal surgical care in this country. This problem will become greater as population increases and as proper medical care reaches those presently not in the mainstream, socioeconomically and medically. Hospitals have already been forced to increase their bed capacity; conceivably, they will also be compelled to staff in shifts at every level—administrators, physicians, nurses, and ancillary workers. In terms of bed utilization, finances, human resources, and patient care this might prove sounder than the prevalent practice of delaying a patient's work-up and treatment because of our outdated notions of the 24-hour surgeon, the five-day hospital, and the eight-hour operating room.
Like a small bridge connecting two cities, the operating suite is frequently the bottleneck between a rapid inflow of patients and a tardy outflow. Most operating rooms plan their weekday activities between 7 am and 3