Saturday, November 17, 2007
I can cross OR nurse off of my list of possible career options. All my fellow student nurses have been so jazzed to witness a surgery and for me it was just boring and exhausting. The patient had a cervical laminectomy - the removal of a bulging disc from one of the neck vertebrae. The patient was given an iv milk-looking induction med by an incredibly high strung anaesthesiologist. The circulating nurse whispered something about sweet dreams to the patient and out went the patient. The patient was put on the table face down after this vice grip was placed around the patient's head to hold it in place. And then drapes were put everywhere until just a little square at the back of the neck was exposed and even that was covered in a membrane so the entire focus of instruments, doctor and assistant, three nurses, an x-ray tech and me was on a four inch square of plastic wrapped flesh. I watched the whole thing in close-up on a monitor. The hard part wasn't the smell of cauterized flesh or the ten million tedious/shiny instruments or the cold of the OR (the thermometer said 50 and I didn't mind at all) or the bloody gauze that was counted over and over (don't want to leave one inside!). It was the standing there wearing 40 pounds of lead to protect from the x-ray. I had a neck do-dad, an apron and a skirt and, I tell you, my back was *killing* me after 1/2 an hour and the surgery went on for two or so hours.
Sorry. No Thanksgiving recipes this year.