I had to do my OR (operating room) rotation/observation last Thursday. I'll be honest and tell you it isn't something I was looking forward to. I'm not a big fan of surgery and all that that entails. I could care less and live happily ever after if I didn't get to sit in on a kidney transplant. I'm not a surgery junkie like some of my classmates. So we get there at like .....early in the morning....and we stand in the hall awaiting our nurse to tell us which surgery to go in first. The first one I went in was a breast reduction. The doctor (plastic surgeon) was an asshole, the anesthesiologist was a perv and the nurses were all hating on eachother. Just my 'observation'. It was a really pleasent room to be in...let me tell ya. There are a lot of horrors I witnessed that day, but I'll spare you because I don't think many people would believe it, I can barealy believe it myself. Anyway so the pt needed to be catheterized and the surgeon points at me and says "Shouldn't she be doing it? She's the student." Fine, no problem, this is the only skill I ever failed (then passed the second time) and I haven't even practiced it since last semester, but fine I'll do it. So the surgeon is standing there watching with his arms folded over his chest mind you (he loved trying his hardest to intimidate me that day). As if I wasn't nervous enough right? I get the kit open and do everything I'm supposed to and when I (pardon) spread the labia, I'm having a hard time finding the ...hole. I finally found it and inserted it and everything went fine....besides the fact that I felt I fumbled a lot. There's a first time for everything right? SO the surgeon says in a creepy voice... "Did you find the hole?" UGH! GROSS! ICK! WEIRDO! He was seriously giving me the creepy/pervy/jerky vibe all day.
I sort of stood back during the beginning because I've never seen someone cut open before with my own two little eyes and I wasn't sure how I'd react. I was ok, but every now and then he'd use a little thing to burn the skin and the smell was really bad. It smelled just like burned hair, because hair is, well, skin. I leanred that in anatomy. Ok so he cuts open the breast, removes the nipple (that part made me hurt). It took him 2 hours to remove 15 lbs of fat from the left breast. When he was finished sewing the breast back together he looked at the nurse, put out his hand and said and I quote... "Nipple". Not scalpel, not retractors, but nipple. Bejeezuz. It just sounded so foreign. Oh and yes it is true what you hear about surgeons listening to music while they work. The surgeon had his Ipod in there and kept screaming at the nurse to change the song. ie: "CHANGE IT, TOO LOUD, HATE IT!) What an arse.
Ok, so I'd had enough of "Dr. 90210" and decided to move on to something else. I was in on a hernia repair and a cyst removal on this one poor fella. The cyst was intact and it looked like an egg...it was wild how he brougt it out right from under the skin....cool. It was quick, and pretty interesting and the doctor was kinda pleasant. He really wanted me to get a good look and instructed me where to stand and stuff. The anesthesiologist was pretty cool too and kept asking me if I was comfortable. He asked me about school and the instructors, because he'd also went to my school, he asked me if I liked surgery etc... I guess he was trying to distract me from the horror of which I was about to see, but little did he know I'd just seen someone open up a breast, cut a nipple off and sew it back on. Classic first day.
So the nurse comes up to me and asks if myself and the other student who was with me if we'd like to see an AKA. I always thought AKA meant incognito or in other words. So she explains there is a pt who is having an above the knee amputation. Oh no, nuh uh, count me out lady. I can see a breast sliced, an abdomen hang wide open but to see an amputation..hell to the naw! My friend of course says yes because she loves all that gorry crap. Finally and after much persuasion I say OK! ARG!!! So I plant myself behind the nurse on a chair so I can't see a thing. I can see a little in between her and the surg tech and that's all I care to see. It isn't the cutting part, obviously I've watched that all day..it's the removal part. Kinda like the M & M's commercial...now you see it, now you don't and I didn't want to see anything NOT there anymore. Just weird! So they're dancing around and singing and talking about trivial stuff while I'm thinking that this poor person is having their leg amputated (already had one amputated) and will never walk again. Sad! SO the time comes to cut through the bone. Wow the femur really is as big as they say! The siatic nerve is huge too, it's as big around as a coaxe cable and it's white....that was really cool to see. The doc asks for the saw, I think it's called a bodey or a body or something. So the curiosity got the best of me and I watched a little of him cutting through. It really is like you see in the movies....blood and bone was going everywhere. So it was done...removed. Horror! I didn't want to see them take the leg away so I turned my head and low and be-friggin-hold the nurse had the leg in her hot little hands, turned around and dumped it in a biohazard bag.....RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!! I saw it...the whole thing go in the garbage. Just like that...there goes a leg. I'm forever haunted by that and will never eat a chiken leg again.
All in all it was an experience. Can't say it's something I'd like to do for a living. One reason is because I couldn't handle standing on my feet all day the way those in surgery do. My feet and back were killing me bu the end of the day. Seeing that AKA was something I didn't expect, perhaps if I did expect it I wouldn't have gone in and it is BY FAR the coolest surgery that any of my classmates have seen so that felt kinda good too. Oh and I forgot to mention that I got to intubate someone...very groovy.
I did pass my central line dressing skill...glad that's over. Now we have one more skill...NG insertion. We have 3 more tests....G.I., Endocrine and the Final exam. Seems like a lot in the next 3 weeks huh? I thought so too.
Until next time....
the more things change
2 years ago