RJAH female surgeons flying the flag on International Women’s Day

Release Date: 05/03/2020

RJAH female surgeons flying the flag on International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, female Orthopaedic Surgeons at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital are proudly wearing their new personalised theatre scrub caps – all in a bid to promote women in surgery.  

International Women’s Day takes place on Sunday 8 March and is an event which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world and also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

The team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital have had scrub caps specially produced from company Scrub’d Up to make female orthopaedic surgeons, and in particular speciality trainees, more identifiable when in Theatres.

Approximately 12% of surgeons across the UK are female, and in the sub-speciality of trauma and orthopaedics, this figure drops to even less at 6%.

The idea came from Miss Gillian Cribb, Consultant Orthopaedic and Oncological Surgeon and Clinical Lead for the Tumour Unit, who also spends time supporting and mentoring female surgical trainees.

She said: “When I first saw the personalised scrub caps, I knew they would be great for female orthopaedic surgeons at RJAH and also the orthopaedic trainee group.

“The caps are fully customisable, so everyone picked their favourite colours and fonts, and the text they would like.

“Being in such a minority group, it’s often assumed that female orthopaedic surgeons are other members of the surgical team so these caps really help distinguish us as surgeons when in theatres.”

The female orthopaedic trainee group which was set-up last year by Gill includes Hayley Lawrence, Soha Sajid, Caroline Dover and Charlotte Tunstall – who are all speciality registrars at RJAH.

As well as setting up a support network for local female orthopaedic trainees, in 2018/19 Gill also completed The Lady Estelle Wolfson Emerging Leaders Fellowship organised by the Royal College of Surgeons – a prestigious programme which aims to develop more female surgical leaders.

Gill added: “Last year, I to set up a group for female trainees in trauma and orthopaedics to offer them advice, support and mentoring when needed.

“When I was training, I had very few female surgeons to look up to so I’m delighted I can be a role model for local, female registrars.”

As well as supporting Women in Surgery, the scrub caps have a range of benefits – including promoting patient safety.

The #TheatreCapChallenge is a social media campaign which promotes the idea of having your name and job title on the cap to improve recognition and personalisation of care in theatres. 

Along with name and job title, the scrub cap features the #hellomynameis logo - a campaign set up by Dr Kate Granger who, whilst undergoing cancer treatment, noticed that staff who were looking after her rarely introduced themselves.

Photo caption: Miss Gillian Cribb, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, with Speciality Registrars Hayley Lawrence, Soha Sajid, Caroline Dover and Charlotte Tunstall wearing their Scrub'd Up hats.

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