Friday, April 13, 2012

A Day Spent in the OR

Grey's Anatomy. ER. Even House.

All shows that enact surgery. All shows that more often than not get some of the most critical life-saving procedures WAY wrong!! (Don't even get me started on how they do CPR on any show or movie...) And while they do have some semblance of accuracy, I'm here to tell you that most everything in the healthcare profession doesn't happen like it does on the shows.

Ok, ok, ok...some things are accurate. Like subsisting on coffee, the opportunity for romance (though more often than not, there's not a lot of romance going on), and the bonus' of wearing scrubs can hold true. They do show some pretty schnazzy healthcare technology. But real life does not happen like it does in the movies or on shows.

However, I did get the opportunity to spend the day in the OR on Wednesday. And it was FANTASTIC!! I actually don't have very much interest in surgery in terms of I've always liked interacting with others. I love watching surgeries on but didn't think I'd actually like the surgical atmosphere. However, I can say, I thoroughly enjoyed my day in the surgical units!!

I started off my morning at 6:45am, true to normal form. I had to change into surgical scrubs. Think the oh-so-fantastically flattering blue scrubs on Grey's Anatomy. Only our scrubs are not made to fit to our bodies. They are a one-cut fits all and either your ass fits in them or not! So here I was in the OR, wearing blue surgical scrubs, blue booties and the wonderful blue hair mesh cap thing. As you can imagine, I was the epitome of surgical beauty ;-) HA! Just kidding.

Anywho, I got to spend the day in OR 6 with the same surgical team through all three of their cases. Same surgeon, same assistant, same circulating nurse, and same scrub tech. The nurse was AWESOME, the assistant was AWESOME, the scrub tech was FUNNY, and the surgeon was AMAZING!

Unlike most surgeons (for any of those of you who have spent any amount of time in a hospital and talked to surgeons, they are just a whole different breed), the surgeon I was with was very laid-back, personable, and friendly. She had a great sense of humor and was so human. You don't get that very often in surgeons!

The first case was a gastrectomy. The pt had a mass in his stomach, which was actually benign, but causing stomach problems. It's better to remove a mass if possible than allow it to sit and possibly metastasize (if it turns malignant) and cause an upset in homeostasis and comfort. So the surgeon went in and removed part of his stomach. Then she let me play with the mass. She showed me where the spleen sat in the stomach, I glimpsed the liver and the pancreas and saw the pinkish texture of the stomach. Once I opened up the part of the stomach that was removed I got to see the mucosal lining of the stomach...SO awesome!!

The entire surgery was probably about 1.5 hours. Turn over the room.

The second surgery was an explorative laparotomy. Basically the pt had presented to the ER with a bunch of pain in the abdominal area. Upon dx testing, xrays showed his intestines were partially twisted. Once opened up, the surgeon found a section of the intestines that was red and swollen (no = good, red & swollen = unhealthy tissue, close to bursting which would lead to peritonitus which would lead to sepsis = NO BUENO). She removed that part of the intestines and again I got to squish them!! So cool.

That surgery took about 45 minutes. Turn over the room.

The last surgery was a laparascopic cholectomy (aka removal of the gallbladder without opening up the pt). SO cool!! The surgeon walked me through the whole procedure. I got to see the liver, pancreas, stomach and of course gall bladder. I watched as she pointed out the common duct (which supplies bile to/from the gallbladder/liver/etc). I watched as she separated the gallbladder from it's home on the liver and extracted it via a tiny tube.

That surgery took about 45 minutes. Done by 1330!

The anesthesiologist was SO awesome and laid-back. He walked me through everything he was doing and even allowed me to help intubate the first patient. SOO amazing!!

What a great experience :-) Who woulda thunk a day in the OR would be so awesome!!

Now just need to go watch a brain and/or heart surgery and I'll be such a happy lady :-)

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