Am assigned to the Colorectal Department for the 4th week of the surgery semester and it has been quite eventful.
- On Tuesday morning, I performed a per rectum digital exam (and no, digit doesn't mean numbers in this case). Also, got to insert a rectoscope into a patient...although not really, since the surgeon was actually the one guiding it --- analogous to a child with their hands on the steering wheel while the parent drives.
- On Tuesday afternoon, I was in minor surgery.
- The surgeon made the initial incision and then I extended it a little. I got to feel around inside the patient's side for the lipoma (benign fatty tumor), but the surgeon did the real work since it was positioned close to blood vessels and nerves. Got to place 4 sutures. Was originally supposed to be 3, but one broke when the surgeon tightened it.
- Accidentally got local anesthetic squirted on my face and wondered if I would gain surg cred if I let it be.
- Prepped and administered local anaesthetic. I know it's odd that I haven't done this before now. However, when we've worked with anaesthesia in the past, it's always been in groups and the more confident or experienced students have taken the lead.
- Wrote an operative note with coaching from the surgeon. The only operative notes I've read before were for major surgeries and writing one of those seemed rather intimidating.
- May not seem that impressive, but as I wrote on facebook, "4 midsize stitches for patient...1 psychological breakthrough for Einakind." I'm Chicken Little anxious, so it was important to prove to myself that I can hack it.
- On Thursday morning, it was time to observe a major operation. Earned brownie points for noticing that the air hose had fallen out of the warm air blanket. Stood beside the primary operator and got to wield the diathermy machine for a few zaps. Unfortunately, I had to step out after an hour as I was starting to feel funny because I hadn't had time for breakfast and had nixed liquid intake to avoid unnecessary bathroom visits. I actually wasn't feeling that bad and I wanted to hold out for 15 to 30 more minutes since my fellow student and I would have to leave for the next class then anyway, but it's a good thing I stepped away from the operating table when I did. I started to feel panicky as I struggled with gown and glove removal and as my classmate and I were heading to the water cooler, I had to stop and sit in the wash room for a bit to recover. Am confident that next time will go better though with a hydrated and well-fed Eina who knows what to expect.