Day 22

Day 22 of my Acute Care Placement, and my first shift in the Operating Theatres of the facility. I was assigned one of the three theatres and given specific instructions of Blue is Bad, don’t touch blue. I was also left a little bit to my own devices as to what experience, what to get out of the day and who to follow around. I decided to make the most of it and get as close to the action as possible.

I had the pleasure of being on an orthopaedic list today, which consisted of three total knee replacements, a shoulder and a radius reduction. The list was short, the time was not, but man did it fly by. During the procedures the orthopaedic surgeon was kind enough to explain what he was doing, the rationale behind it, what we were looking at and what he was looking for. It was a great experience that I had not anticipated. Before I knew it we were closing up the second knee. I decided it would be a good time to see the same operation from the anaesthetists point of view. I teamed up with the anaesthetic nurse, and anaesthetist and started the process from entering to leaving. The anaesthetist explained what they were doing, the medication being used, what it was for, what they monitor for, the different equipment and why its used over other similar equipment. It was all in all a very enlightening experience.

The oddest part of the day was not the sounds or the sights, they were expected, but it was the smell. Specifically the diathermic device. It creates a smell that is somewhere between burnt hair, and over roasted pork. It fills the room whenever ti is used and at first is really off putting, as you realise someones flesh is being brunt just a little. But, after a while the smell becomes less intrusive and you get used to it.

The dynamic of the staff within the theatre was also interesting. Where other wards were quite clicky as a team, and worked with each other, even it was a medical vs surgical mentality, whereas surgical seems almost to be like a high school playground. Everyone is playing around but some quite nasty or demeaning things get thrown around very casually. There is backstabbing, snake like behaviour, and an almost selfish ideal shared by most. However, when it comes to the job, all bets are off and its all about the patient, but it didn’t seem to me to be the most harmonious working environment.

The first day was great, some big expectations to live up to for the next three. I would love to see an abdominoplasty, a couple of scopes, and the other odd and end surgeries the facility does. It would also be interesting to see if the different teams work differently to each other. Only time will tell.

Maintain the Rage,

Luke Sondergeld

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