Thursday, September 07, 2006


Today I had my first experience in surgery.

I wasn't in the door two seconds and L grabbed me and we were on our way to assist in surgery. The docs were doing a hip pinning and needed fluoro guidance.

We made our way up to the OR and went into the surgical prep room. L handed me a long white, paper suit, and told me to put it on. "We always have to wear the bunny suit in surgery" she tells me. "Ha ha" I thought, "lets make fun of the newbie student and dress him up all stupid-like." But as I watched she pulled one out for herself and started putting it on. "OK, fine" I thought "I'll put it on if she has one too. How stupid could I look, right?" Well, as it turns out pretty stupid, but at least I wasn't only one.

After that we made our way to OR Room 3 where the docs had already prepped the pt for a hip pinning. This is where they insert a few metal pins, although bolts is more accurate, into a bone to reinforce it. They needed us, or rather L, to run the fluoro machine so they could correctly position the pins in the pt's hip.

The mobile fluoro machine, more commonly called a C-arm, is a type of x-ray machine that creates real-time images. Instead of producing x-ray "snapshots" like a regular x-ray machine, it uses x-rays and a special sensor to send a live, moving picture of the patient's bones and/or organs to a TV screen. This allows the doc to see precisely where he or she has positioned the pins.

It was very interesting and I'm looking forward to getting back in there again soon. It's a bit intimidating, however, and I am already dreading the day I screw something up and get chewed out by the surgeon, but I think it will also be an amazing experience.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are learning a lot in your first two weeks! I hope I'll be able to keep up with the pace when I start my clinicals.

The OR is one place that kind of scares me. As you said, it's a bit intimidating. It makes me nervous to think about it at this point! Heck, I'm nervous about just starting my clinicals! We got our schedule today so I at least know where I go for the first 2 months and who I'll be with.

Anyway, I'm glad things are going well for you and that you are enjoying your clinicals and learning so much. Keep up the good work!!! :)

Mary said...

Don't worry, it'll probably be a nurse that chews you out, not a Dr ;) And it happens to everyone!

Luckily at our hospital, we don't have to wear any thing special for surgery. Just hospital scrubs (which we normally wear). I love surgery. It's always different, and intersting.

Theresa said...

OMG - I had no idea you had to go into surgery!! I could imagine a situation where a student such as yourself has no problem in the clinic/lab with all the machines but loses his lunch in the OR!! I guess a strong stomach is a prereq!!

I'm impressed.

SVN, prn said...

Watch out for them surgeons. They can be nasty. Or really cool and want to teach. There is no middle ground. At least in my experience.