How postgraduate trainees from different health professions experience the learning climate within an operating theater: a mixed-methods study

Kasana Raksamani*, Renee E. Stalmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundThe learning climate within a learning environment is a key factor to determine the potential quality of learning. There are different groups of postgraduate trainees who study primarily in the operating theater (OT), which is a complex, high-stake environment. This study created and validated an interprofessional measure of the OT educational climate and explored how postgraduate trainees from different health professions experienced the learning climate within the operating theater.MethodsAn explanatory, sequential mixed-method design was used. The quantitative phase used and validated a newly developed questionnaire, the Operating Theater Educational Climate Test (OTECT), to evaluate the perceptions of anesthesia residents, surgical residents and student registered nurse anesthetists. In the qualitative phase, three mono-professional focus groups participants' opinions on the factors influencing their learning climate were explored.ResultsThe OTECT questionnaire was found to be valid. The questionnaire response rate was 78.9% (142 respondents from 180). Questionnaire results indicated similar perceptions of the OT learning climate by learners from all disciplines. Focus groups revealed three major influencing factors on the experienced learning climate: 1) nature of work in the OT, 2) the role of the supervisor, and 3) the interprofessional dimension of work in the OT.ConclusionsThe OT learning climate was perceived similarly by trainees from three health profession. The high stakes nature of the OT inhibited learning most as it impacted both trainees and supervisors. The results can be applied to improve the overall learning environment in the OT for all groups of learners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2019


  • Learning climate
  • Operating theater
  • Postgraduate trainees
  • Interprofessional learning
  • Supervision
  • ROOM

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