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Exchanging implements: the micro-materialities of multidisciplinary work in the operating theatre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Christian Heath, Paul Luff, Marcus Sanchez Svensson, Maxim Nicholls

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages16
JournalSociology of Health and Illness
Issue number2
Early online date21 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


King's Authors


Surgical procedures rely upon an array of commonplace tools, implements and materials that mediate practice and disciplinary collaboration within the operating theatre. Substantial time is dedicated to the issue and provision of these artefacts and their timely exchange is critical to the successful accomplishment of surgical procedures. In this paper, we consider the practice, knowledge and agency that enables particular implements and materials to be handled and passed from one to the other that in turn enables their deployment with regard to the particular procedure and the contingencies ‘at hand’. We address the technicalities of these ‘non-technical skills’ and examine how they rely upon a disciplinary vision and interactional organisation that informs both the scrutiny of action

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