Another week in the OR...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Scrubbing in for surgery:
la la la

Last week marked my first day in the operating room for my OB-gyn rotation.  I don't what it is about the OR, but it makes me a little (ok, a lot) ill-at-ease. I worry that I will make a mistake while scrubbing in or gowning/gloving and "unsterilize" myself, compromise over the sterile field, or (most frightening) get pimped on an anatomy question by an attending when I don't know the answer. 

I tried to prepare myself by scouting out the OR location and locker room when I got the case schedule the day before (it only took me appoximately 30 minutes and walking in circles twice to find it). Furthermore, I left our house at exactly 6:57 a.m. that morning when our first case wasn't scheduled until after 7:30 a.m. This was a big step for me since I am typically running exactly (barely) on time. I felt pretty proud of myself when I located the OR hallway at about 7:03 (and without asking anyone and only walking in one circle). Then I realized I didn't know which "staff only" door was the women's locker room. Because the locker room doors require a code, I decided to try out the code and hope for the best. Thankfully it worked.....and then I opened the door and smelled a distinctly male scent coming from inside. I then witnessed a glimpse of an unknown surgeon (probably one of my attendings) in nothing but some underarmour boxers. Fortunately for me, he was in the process of putting a scrub top on over his head and didn't witness by horror-stricken face before I hastily slammed the door shut again. Seriously, how do both the men's and women's locker rooms have the exact same code and have no labels?!

After I recovered from the locker room incident, I proceeded to scrub in and then gown and glove. Things were going unusually well and I breathed a silent sigh of relief until I attempted to adjust my gown and rip, there went my sleeve, marking the sad end to my short-lived sterile-ness. The day continued, with only a few more awkward incidents: walking through the OR with my mask half on (what was I thinking) and reaching over a sterile field (you’d think as a former nurse I’d know better).

And so ended my first official day  of scrubbing-in in the OR. I’ll end positively by saying that I saw an absolutely thrilling laparoscopic view of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes that day. And this week, I'm 100% confident that I can find the women's locker room and 75% confident that I can stay sterile after scrubbing in.
The sterile field:
After a long day of surgery:

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