Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Extracurricular Surgery, then Finals.

Well, finals are over and I'm still alive. I managed four B's and three A's this semester... though 3 of those B's were 90 or 91% (remember, 92% is the lowest A). Not complaining though, I'm just glad to be on vacation!

The faculty was really nice during the last week. They brought us breakfast every day; sometimes donuts, sometimes catered stuff. My instructor made her delicious "chess cake"... which is basically tiny little cheesecake squares dusted in powdered sugar. Heavenly.

Last Saturday I had the most awesome experience.

A nurse anesthetist from my church asked me if I'd like to come shadow him at his job. I accepted and got up at 0600 to meet him at the hospital, and then stood next to him for four hours while two surgeons performed a hysterectomy. This nurse anesthetist showed me everything he was doing and explained all the equipment. He told me the names of the drugs he injected, what they acted on, what he was watching for to be sure all aspects were balanced. I gained a really detailed overview of his work. And on top of the learning, it was a very interesting surgery. I got to see this lady's uterus and intestines and stuff, it was so awesome!

I don't believe I mentioned the surgical observation experience that I had through the nursing school. Throughout the semester, students are rotated out for a single day in the OR. When I arrived for my assignment, all my classmates had already picked the most interesting cases. So I ended up observing 3 cataract surgeries, and was actually made queasy by the needle they used to inject the local anesthetic into the eye. I spent most of that morning sitting off to the side while the staff ignored me. A very boring day.
(I have no idea why the needle bothered me and the open abdomen didn't. I'm not squeamish, but they say at good third of students feel unexpectedly ill the first time they set foot in an OR. A large percentage faint, but thankfully I wasn't one of those.)

How awesome to get another chance to learn! And from someone with an advanced license! I know I want to go to grad school eventually, and while the lack of patient interaction in the OR seems a bit boring to me, I was really excited to see something new.

I gotta remember to write a thankyou note.