Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 2 General Surgery

Today I had my first actual scrub-in surgeries. The first surgery was an umbilical hernia repair - I scrubbed in a bit early but got some of the awkward "what do I do" stuff out of the way at least. When you are 'scrubbed in' the scrub nurse fits you with your sterile drape and gloves that you will wear for the rest of the surgery - after that you cannot touch anything that isn't within the sterile zone. So they were still prepping a bit and I had to stand by - beginner's mistake, and at least the surgeon wasn't there yet to notice.

Me and the other student are alternating in assisting, so I was first in assisting, and got to make the first incision. The surgeon was a bit more relaxed and talkative today, maybe because he is in his element and not having to worry about patients (interacting with the person, I mean, not the body). After that I mostly held clamps, dabbed gauze, and tied off a few stitches. We inserted a mesh to prevent the herniation from protruding. The next surgery was in a different hospital so we sped over there in our respective cars and this time the other student scrubbed in, so I observed. It was rather short, another hernia, so that wasn't too bad.

During the lunch hour, there was a cancer session where radiologists, surgeons, and others meet to discuss particular cancer patients and approaches to diagnosis and treatment. We got free lunch, so that was nice - the doctor's lounge also has regularly stocked varieties of drinks, including energy drinks, so that's pretty awesome - on surgery days I get free energy drinks ^_^

After that we observed half of a double mastectomy and I assisted with the second half - this time both the surgeon I am following and another surgeon were working, and I was mostly assisting the latter. They are both nice, were chatting with each other about their residency experiences in various places, etc. At the first hospital there were eye shields, and I was really wishing I had an eye shield for that mastectomy, since there were a lot of small blood vessels getting cut here and there, and a few times it barely missed my face. Again, mostly holding, snipping, or dabbing. Got out about 4:30 PM so all in all not a particularly long or troublesome day. Tomorrow I report to the clinic around 8:20 AM and we have a surgery in the afternoon around 1:00pm so we shall see how that goes, whatever it is.

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