A stitch in time: Instructing temporality in the operating room
Keywords:conversation analysis, operating room, sequence, surgical education, temporality
AbstractThis paper examines how time is made explicitly relevant in the way the attending surgeon monitors and corrects the performance of a resident during a kidney transplant surgery. In so doing, we observe how the attending constitutes time as a significant and constituent feature of the surgical actions performed by the resident. In order to instruct temporal competence in the performance of surgical procedures, the attending surgeon identifies and makes instructably observable the temporally significant features of the surgical work just as that work is performed, by (a) producing countdowns, pace prompts, and temporal accounts when and as avoidable errors occur, and (b) planning and coordinating current and upcoming actions in relation to other actions. Instructing a trainee in the temporal features of his/her performance occurs when the attending (a) coordinates the production of specific verbal tokens, remarks, and accounts with specific actions performed by the resident as the resident performs them, or (b) anticipates the performance of subsequent actions in relation to current surgical actions underway. This case demonstrates how temporality becomes an observably instructable matter in interaction.
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