Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday - My First Time Ever in the Operating Room

For the first time, I was invited to participate in the operating room as an observer.  My department deals with the C-Arm when they need to take x-rays for the procedure.  Before anything, we had to put on scrubs to be as sterile and clean as possible.  We also had to make sure to put on a protective, lead apron.  I was very cautious in where I stepped, because you're not allowed to touch the sterile field.  Basically, our job was to setup the room without screwing up the place.  The procedure was for kidney stone removal through retrograde flushing.  That's when they insert a stent up the urethra and blast water up the kidneys, then the stone(s) slowly flush out.  The C-Arm is needed to see what's going on inside of the ureters.  The good news was that there was no blood involved.  The bad news is that the procedure was still very nasty.  The anesthesiologist is the one who's responsible for sticking the air tubes and monitoring the patient's vitality signs throughout the procedure.  He was also responsible for documenting changes in temperature, oxygen, and air intake.  It was basically his job to keep the patient alive before, during, and after the procedure.  The whole thing lasted about an hour.  The doctor did not have a fun time performing such a task.  He was cursing like a sailor and went through different sizes of tubes and instruments before completely removing the kidney stone.  Even though the whole thing was a big mess, everyone chipped in to help and the job was successfully completed.

It was hard for me to be there watching the whole thing, but I knew my future career was on the line and that this job wasn't as bad as so many other jobs out there.  I needed to be there; and I need the experience.  It was another whole new environment for me, but I actually understood the language the doctors were using.  I guess all that schooling, studying, and book reading helped after all?  I was also talking and interviewing a lot of workers there as well.  I can tell that the schooling and the job was hard on them.  Any job at the hospital is no easy task, even the janitor.  They got to clean the toilets and poop all the time.  I almost even dozed off while watching the operation, but I managed to pretend long enough to be awake and alert.  

None the less, I have one more day left in the week interning at the hospital until my short weekend time off.  It's been a grueling experience, and I don't know how much longer I can survive in this field.  I'm going to continue to try my hardest and do my best.  I have to practice being more aggressive and taking on cases by myself.  I also need to learn how to work independently with others.  My line of work encompasses all of these things, which I could improve more upon through working harder, sacrificing more, and taking on more risk.

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