Motion Study of Gilbreths in Surgery

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth are best-known for their motion study on bricklaying. However they did many other studies on various areas. They have motion studies for athletes, pianists , book keepers and fencers. All of these people were photographed when they were in action. Then those actions were divided into small micro motions to observe the unnecessary movements to eliminate.

Surgeons were those people that Gilbreths studied on to improve the surgical operations by eliminating the unnecessary motions. Back in the days, the operations were taking so long because the doctors were trying to find the surgical instruments while operating.

They had to stop and look for the equipment which was needed for the next action. Additionally, surgical practices and the instruments varied in the country which resulted incompetence. Gilbreths thought that the scientific management in industry can be applied to the surgical area and they decided to conduct a motion study in this area. Gilbreths observed the surgeons while they were doing the operation and saw that seeking for the surgical instrument took a great amount of time for surgeons that they always needed to stop for some time to get the next equipment.

However, Gilbreths had hard time to convince the surgeons to get permission from them to attend their operations because Gilbreths needed to observe them. At first surgeons seemed willing to have Gilbreths in their surgical operations but when they said that the observation was being done to find motion similarities between the surgeons, bricklayers and the other machinery workers, the surgeons got frustrated and did not want to be compared with the other workers.

Even though it was hard for Gilbreths to convince them, they had chance to conduct to micro motion study by photographing and getting the motion pictures of the surgeons while they were operating. 1 Gilbreths realized the wasted time of the surgeons while looking for the surgical instrument. They proposed that a nurse can help the doctor whenever he needs an equipment. So they found that a nurse can serve as “caddy ” (This is the Gilbreths term) to a doctor.

Therefore, Gilbreths are the first to proposed that a surgical nurse can help the surgeons by giving the instruments to them. In the year 1916 Frank Gilbreth said that ” Surgeons could learn more about motion study, time study, waste elimination, and scientific management from the industries than the industries could learn from the hospitals. ” Surgeries are vital for human life.

Because of this, the operating room needs to be well organized, it requires good motor skills and well-planned motions. The surgical operations need to get done in a short period and in an effective way. What Gilbreth did was very useful to the surgeons to do the operations in an effective way and within a short time.

Since the operations started to get done in a short period of time, surgeons had less complaints about the stress and the fatigue than they experienced before. Time and motion study on surgeons and the bricklayers were done in the same manner. In both of them, the main reason was reducing the unneeded movements to achieve a task in most efficient way. Those motion studies are associated with the Therbligs. Therbligs are the anagram of Gilbreth which includes eighteen basic motions set by Gilbreth for their studying and timing of the motions of people. The principles underlying those motion studies actually involve these 2.

Therblig motions. Gilbreths applied the Therblig motions to surgery techniques and came up with new approach that a doctor calling out numbered instruments and immediately having it by the help of a nurse. In conclusion today the surgeons owe a debt to them, since they had a wise idea to their problem. References ABU HANIFAH, MOHD SHAHRIL. “Therblig Theory. ” Therblig Theory. Scribd Inc. Web. 14 Jan. 2012. <http://www. scribd. com/doc/48899534/Therblig-Theory>. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and the Manufacture and Marketing of Motion Study. E Business History Conferen. Web. 15 Jan. 2012.

<http://www. thebhc. org/publications/BEHprint/v018/p0088-p0098. pdf>. “Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. ” Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Web. 14 Jan. 2012. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Frank_Bunker_Gilbreth,_Sr. >. MOTION STUDY FOR THE HANDICAPPED. THE ANCHOH PRES8 LTD. , TIPTREE, ESSEX, ENGLAND. , 2007. Web. 15 Jan. 2012. <http://ia700300. us. archive. org/17/items/motionstudyforha00gilbuoft/motionstudyforha00gilbuoft. pdf>. Surgery and Ergonomics. American Medical Association. , 1999. Web. 15 Jan. 2012. <http://archsurg. ama-assn. org/cgi/reprint/134/9/1011. pdf>.

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