I was able to leave the virtual symposium a little early today to join my attending for the surgery. Some of the research topics were kinda interesting though. The first was a guest speaker who was talking about essentially how to improve the teacher student feedback dynamic. I was itching to have my first operating room experience, so it was kinda hard to stay focused with the others.
Fast forward to being at the hospital. I had some difficulty finding the main operating room, which is where I was supposed to meet him. Luckily a nice doctor was able to guide me. Got there a little early, he was still coming from clinic, so just was standing around in front of the entrance and people kept asking me if I knew where I was going. He eventually showed up and we went in to check-in with the patient before the surgery. Then we went to the physician lounge for some lunch where I finally got to try the clam chowder which was reportedly pretty good. We finished up and went back to the OR.
This was my first time scrubbing in and it showed very hard. Washing my hands I was fine. Back when I volunteered in the NICU I used to have to wash my hands for 3 whole minutes before starting my shift with the scrubby sponges. I realized my attending didn’t dry his hands so followed his lead and entered the OR behind them. Immediately we told not to put my arms down, even though they already were, so I had to go back out and re-wash. Damn I knew that one too. I received a few other urgent warnings about different stuff until I was just standing off a bit to the side trying to stay sterile until we were ready to start. It was embarrassing, but luckily everyone was pretty nice and patient with me.
During the surgery itself I slowly eased into the rules and what was and wasn’t allowed. I got to help out at different points in what little ways I could, holding things in place, cleaning ports, controlling the camera. The whole procedure was fascinating and it was cool seeing in person what I had previously only seen on YouTube. The machine that was used to cut and cauterize made noises reminiscent of a casino or arcade which I thought was kinda funny. It was often easy to forget that there was a whole life human being on the table in front of us.
The hour plus we spent in the OR went by pretty quick and soon my first surgical experience was done. It was far from smooth, at least on my part, but I learned a lot and went 1 for 2 on pimping questions. Looking forward to the next one.