Kelly, Allis, Who?

If anyone knows what the title of my post is about, then I suspect you have some knowledge of peri-operative nursing. I spent two days in the operating room learning about different procedures and the daily life of a scrub nurse. In our small hospital, we also have the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) managed by the same group of OR nurses. The team was very supportive of my learning, and I was able to strike up a good rapport with the anaesthetist. I observed a portacath insertion, a colonoscopy, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, carpal tunnel release, dilation & curettage, and an elective caesarian section.

My experience in the OR had both positives and negatives. As a nursing student, I wasn’t able to participate too much; in fact, all I really did was monitor and provide the patient with much needed psycho-social support. (Huzzah!) A scrub nurse was only required in two procedures. The rest of the time the circulating nurse was there to assist the surgeon preparing the sterile room, making sure things were accounted for, and fetching items that were required.

The patient population we operate on here is stable, and most procedures are scheduled. I’ve only heard of a few emergency caesarian sections, and a handful of abdominal related surgeries performed on-call (i.e. appendectomy).

I was lucky enough to be in the OR while the gynaecologist was staying his week here. I believe that once a month this gynaecologist visits the hospital. I can’t say that I learned very much from him — he was more interested in talking about his angina than the procedure. But it was interesting to see what was involved in a D&C. I highly recommend viewing the animation link I posted. The ladies who had the D&C had abnormal vaginal bleeding; therefore, the endometrium was required for diagnosis. I wasn’t too familiar with D&Cs; the only time I had heard about this procedure was in the context of an abortion. All I can say is that I’m glad the ladies were consciously sedated.

I think the most exciting procedure I saw was the caesarian section. I was in charge of calling out the time of birth. And of course, providing psycho-social support to the family, because everyone knows how brutal surgeons can be during a procedure. Now, the anaesthetist was really awesome — I don’t think I’ve seen a doctor do such a good job in calming a patient. He got close to her and spoke to her in such a soothing voice. Asked me to fetch her some cold compresses and applied them behind her neck. Man, if only all doctors has such good bedside manners!

A healthy baby girl was born at 9:40 AM. She was crying even before she was fully out of the womb!

I’ll save this topic for another post, but I am interested in why breastfeeding is not common, nor heavily promoted in this community. Formula feeding is ridiculously expensive and don’t offer the same benefits as breast milk (i.e. easier to digest, immunoglobulins). And while it is a personal choice, I think more so the young moms we see are just not informed. Instead they have a negative portrayal of breastfeeding. It breaks my heart every time when they tell me they are bottle feeding exclusively.

Anyway, I had a lovely long weekend. I went over the river in a boat taxi and explored the next town over. I went to a few yard sales and even found a scarf that I liked! Enjoyed a meal in a restaurant and did some grocery shopping. All in all, a productive trip!

3 Responses to “Kelly, Allis, Who?”
  1. Jay says:

    Portacath insertion! Yes good stuff! I am actually working on a treatment plan for a women with advanced stage Breast cancer, and she has a portacath plus a partial mastectomy. Super hard to plan, especially since there’s very little tissue left and the dose restrictions are tight! Good stuff, keep it going! xoxoxo

  2. Jay says:

    Oh and I’m curious – at what moments in the birth procedure is the time of the birth determined? Full body out? Or just head and shoulders?

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