Talk:Operating theater

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Article[edit]

I really want to see this page be a bit more detailed. I work in an OT, and I know that others who come here also work in OT's. I think that we could work together and make this page encompass many facets of a modern OT. Qpeedore 16:48, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the above comment. I think the Surgery article is also deficient in a similar respect. H Padleckas 03:48, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Do people in america use the term operating "theater" much? Joeyramoney 00:21, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I live in the U.S. and have experience with hospitals, and I had never heard it called an operating theatre before this article. If it is sometimes called an operating room in the U.K. and other English speaking areas/countries, perhaps operating room would be a more widespread term. Also, calling it an "operating room" would avoid the difference in spelling (theatre vs. theater). -- Kjkolb 17:16, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
For US vs Brit spelling or lexical differences, it has long been standard on Wikipedia to either consider the subject matter (e.g. an article on US Presidents in American English and one on British Monarchs in British english) or where there is no obvious allignment (as in this case) continue with the style in which the article was created and have redirects where there are different words used in different English speaking countries. What you have a fair point about is that if there is a choice of usual words in one dialect, then to use the one that is more internationally recognised. However, while "operating room" would be understood in the UK, it is less specific and could apply to a room which is being used for an operation (where it is not usually) or in a non medical context where anything is "operated" such as power plant. In the UK "Operating Theatre" is imediately understood to mean a purpose equipped permanent medical facility and is used far more widely in this context. Dainamo 00:07, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I am aware of procedure, but thanks anyway. :-) It has also been standard to compromise, even when the results are less than perfect. For example, instead of aeroplane or airplane, the article is called fixed-wing aircraft. Also, the usage in other English speaking countries should be considered, such as in Canada and Australia. Operating room seems to be used in Canada, given the name of the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada. "Operating room" gets 125,000 search results in Google for Canadian domains (.ca), versus 816 for "operating theatre". There is also the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses. The same search gets 36,500 versus 108,000 results. So operating room apparently dominates in Canada, but should be widely understood in Australia. A U.K. search gets 44,000 versus 185,000 results and all of the operating room results were for the medical term on the first several pages, so it should be understood there as well. Therefore, I think that operating room is a good compromise. -- Kjkolb 04:41, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
I have no objection to it being operating room or theatre providing redirects get you there (I had always assumed it was an operating theater in North America). Perhaps some surgeons called it a theatre out of some ego-trip on performance ;). Interesting a friend of mine was a theatre technician in an RAF hospital, in the U.S. I guess they would think he operated curtains and spotlights! Dainamo 02:02, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
A quick check of sites indicates that there are references to "Operating theaters" on U.S. sights so it may have usage you are unaware of Dainamo 02:10, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Clearly, there are two articles here. In the US, and Operating room (OR) is the place in a modern hospital where surgeries are performed; it is also called surgery center, and in the UK is an Operating theatre. A second artice would the the one that is here, the historical place where 19 century surgeons performed surgery before an audience, like the Ether Dome. AstroNomer (talk) 13:24, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


Operating theater[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus to move the page as suggested. Personally, I (American) have never heard anyone say "operating theater", but I know that WP:ENGVAR enjoys strong consensus support. - GTBacchus(talk) 06:56, 27 November 2010 (UTC)



Operating theaterOperating Room — The term operating theater has a very specific meaning in non-Commonwealth nations (and Canada), referring very specifically to open, amphitheater like structures where surgery was preformed before an audience prior to the introduction of the sterile technique and the use of anesthetics. (See Ether Dome for an example). The term operating room is used with near total exclusivity in non-Commonwealth nations, including Canada, and is understood in Commonwealth nations to mean a sterile room where surgery is preformed. However, in the rest of the world, operating theater refers specifically to a non-sterile amphitheater used until the early 20th century. I am aware of WP:SPELLING which states that when national varieties of English are used on culturally neutral pages, the initial variety is default, but I believe that WP:COMMONNAMES would apply here, or at least WP:TITLE which states that non-ambiguous titles should be used.Ronk01 talk 17:30, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

  • My proposal rationale are above. I would also like to note that I am planning a page on historical operating theaters and would need the title "Operating theater" open. Since everyone recognizes that OT means the historical, facility, but not everyone uses OT to refer to the modern one, it would seem logical to use OT for the article on the historical facility, and "Operating room" for the modern facility. Ronk01 talk 22:07, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as a native speaker of British English—much as I enjoy other versions of the language—I would have no idea what an article on an operating room would be about. Perhaps a dab page is needed? Ian Spackman (talk) 14:11, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose This seems like a pretty standard case of WP:ENGVAR. I dida quick review and I didn't see any issues with redirects. Other than Operating room management there is no issue with consistency. Operating theater/re also appears to have a far greater number of incoming links.--Labattblueboy (talk) 04:27, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Ian Spackman. The nom is wrong to say that "The term operating room is .... understood in Commonwealth nations to mean a sterile room where surgery is preformed." - it isn't. I would probably expect to find computers or some form of machinery in an "operating room", and the name will just not be understood in the UK at least. Aren't doctors in US tv medical dramas often "in theater"? Johnbod (talk) 14:29, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Change of perspective[edit]

This article has several confusing aspects, dating back to these changes in 2008. Specifically:

  • The fact that is mostly talks about the American meaning of the term, when the article should really be about the British meaning, also known as operating room in the US.
  • The fact that it uses the American spelling of theatre, despite the fact that people don't even call it a theatre/theater in America.

Obviously, if this article was about the thing that American's call an operating theater than I'd be talking rubbish, but if that were the case, then why does operating room redirect here? Arguably we should just revert to the previous version... but a more sensible idea might be to see if we try to merge the two. I'll have a look at that when I'm feeling less frazzled. Yaris678 (talk) 23:23, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

That's the trick, isn't it? This page discusses both meanings, but in the American usage, the meanings/terminology diverged at some point in time, such that there are two terms in A.E.: one for the historical setting often found at Medical Schools, and one for the modern places that succeded them. If this page were just the British usage, then there would still need to be SOME page for the American concept/meaning/usage, such as "Operating theater (historical)", given that that stuff is otherwise decent content it shouldn't be simply reverted away. Morgan Riley (talk)