People Are Just Realising Why Surgeons Have To Have Tools Handed To Them, And It Makes Total Sense

I've been baffled by this for too long.
FangXiaNuo via Getty Images

If you’ve so much as glimpsed at a hospital drama, you’ve probably seen scenes in which a gowned surgeon calls for tools like forceps ― and the tool is immediately pressed into his palm by a waiting nurse.

But while most of us understand why the operating doctor can’t look away from his patient to rifle through a tray of tools, it’s unclear for many why the doctor can’t grab the instrument from the assistant themselves when it’s handed to them.

In a TikTok that’s racked up over 15 million views, medical student norton_fam posted “POV: you just learned why instruments are placed in a surgeon’s hands.”

Why are they?

In the video, the creator mimed one surgical tech clarifying to a med student that handing a tool to a surgeon isn’t enough.

“Put it in his hand,” the instructions went ― to which the mimed med student replied, “why do I have to hand him the instrument?”

The poster then explained that this is because the surgeon is wearing loupes ― thin tubes that magnify the wearer’s vision, but which only have a limited field of visibility.

“They’re basically magnifying glasses that help [surgeons] see the different layers of tissue better,” the video creator shared.

“But they also narrow their field of view.”

And before they even get to THAT stage, a whole separate person has to prep the tools.

“Scrub nurses pass equipment to the surgeon, while circulation nurses prepare theatre equipment, making sure that the correct surgical packs are ready and opened at the right time to avoid contamination,” Thornbury Nursing Services explains.

People were surprised

“I definitely thought it was just to be helpful because [surgeons are] very busy,” one commenter said.

“I just thought it was an ego thing,” another replied (TBH, I’d always suspected that ― shows what I know).

“I wear loupes ― if you have to constantly look up and adjust your vision it wrecks your eyes long term and makes you really tired,” yet another commenter explained.

Well, you learn something grimly fascinating every day...