Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bonus points for not passing out!!!

Friday was my turn in the OR. We were to sit in and observe as many surgeries as we could between 0630 and 1200. I was super excited, but also nervous. I was the first in our group to go, and had NO IDEA what I was doing!

I check in, change into scrubs, make my way through the surgical staff's lounge, up the stairs, don my booties, cap and jacket and step through the doors. Crap. Which way do I turn? I decide left.

I find the nurse's station.

"Good morning," says Overly Chipper nurse.
"Morning, um, I'm your student nurse for this morning."
"We're getting a student today? Hey, Cathy! Did you know we were getting a student today?"
"Nope."

Great.

Overly Chipper Nurse calls someone to verify that they are allowing a student in today. Phone Nurse says "Sure, give her something fun to watch."

After checking with the other RNs around, they find out something "cool" is going on behind curtain number 3.

They shove me behind said curtain, where I find an elderly man lying on a gurney, PreOp Nurse and the anesthesiologist. PreOp nurse starts explaining to me what's going on with Mr. Smith, and before she gets 2 sentences out, the curtain is flung open, and I'm pushed aside for the Almighty Surgeon. I cower in the corner, as quiet as a mouse (which is difficult for me to do).

Almighty Surgeon leaves and Gas Doc and PreOp Nurse resume procedure. They were doing a total block of the right arm. If I could remember the name of the procedure, I'd tell you, but in a nutshell, they were poking in his neck with a long needle trying to find the right nerve to deaden. The cool thing is that the needle was attached to not only a syringe, but also an electrode device. When they hit a nerve, the muscles twitched and jumped! Neat! Once they found the right nerve and administered the anesthetic, they tell me that Mr. Smith is having a total shoulder replacement. I'm super excited!

Guy Nurse and Mother Hen Nurse hurry inside the curtained area, say hello to Mr. Smith, acknowledge my existence and tell me that they are the OR nurses for Mr. Smith.

"When are we going in to the OR?" I ask.
"Now."

And out they flew with the patient babbling about whiskey, and with me scrambling to keep up.

I imagined that before the surgeon comes in the team is pretty quick and gets everything set up. I way underestimated their speed. In under 5 min (yes, I was timing it), they had the patient under, strapped to the beach chair, covered under piles of blankets and were back to chatting amongst themselves.

20 minutes later, Amazing Surgeon bounces through the door. First thing he does? Plugs in the iPod and turns it up. In 7 minutes, the team finished positioning Mr. Smith, scrubbed in, created the sterile field, covered the arm in surgi-skin and were making the first slice. I was in total awe!

It was absolutely amazing to watch the surgery! I did not get grossed out at all, and was actually a little giddy about the whole thing!

They let me play with the head of the humerus, taught me how to quickly sterilize instruments, and the medical reps gave me a quick run down of where and how everything was being attached!

After 4 hours, Mr. Smith was sewn back up. Amazing Surgeon came over to me.

"So, let me guess, you're gonna switch majors now?"
"No! I loved this! Thank you for letting me tag along and watch!"

Then he invited me to come watch his next surgery! But alas, my time was limited and I needed to see Mr. Smith through to the PACU.

Lessons Learned:
1. I belong in the OR.
2. If its head is covered, I forget its human.
3. Amazing Surgeon and I have the same taste in music.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obstacles in Studying


She really makes it hard to keep studying...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting back into the swing of it all...

I've had 3 of my 5 classes so far, and this is going to be an interesting semester. I start my med-surg clinicals on Friday at OverInflated Ego Hospital. The part I am looking forward to the most is we found out today we will be able to observe a surgery this semester! I am super excited about that! Seeing as I am considering nurse anesthetists as a career option, it'll be nice to know up front if I can't handle surgery!

I've got quite the course load this time around (17 credit hours! ugh!), but oddly, I seem to have more free time.... that doesn't seem right!

I only know one girl in my classes, but I'm sure to become tight with the rest of them! I'm really proud to know that out of the 200 or so of us that started this process 2 years ago, I am one of the 50 left! Not everyone failed out, some chose to leave the major voluntarily, but still, I'm really proud of myself and I hope to keep doing well!

Today's lecture in Med-Surg was on fluids, and how important it is to understand everything you can about them. My head hurt so much after class! I get easily confused between which fluid (hyper-, hypo-, or isotonic) to use with which situation (hypo-, hyper-, isoomalality). It's kinda backwards, and I felt like I didn't know anything in class. Fortunately, most people didn't know it either, so at least I'm not the only moron here! Any helpful webpages or resources you've got would be insanely appreciated!

The beauty of being at the start of the Junior level in the fall is that we get to give flu shots! I'm apprehensive about IM injections, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

For now, I'm going to kick back, ignore some readings and just watch the good ol' boob tube. :)