Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adrenaline junky???

When I was in school for Surgical Technology back in 2000.  My professor was talking about working in the O.R.  She was big into adrenaline or adrenaline junky.  A surgical tech's job is to prepare the OR for surgery, working with a RN.  I am the one that prepares the instruments, they are all sterile.  I set it up from 1 trays to I don't know 5-8 trays of instruments.  There are about 25-75 pieces of instruments in each tray.  I know ALL the names because we have to count them before we start surgery, and as we close each layer and at the end.  We count those, needles or sutures, lap sponges and what ever we use.  Each tray have different instruments but there are the basics in there.  Pick- up forceps, now I can say there is Adson Forceps, Adson Brown Forceps, never mind, as you can see it can be specifics.  They all look alike.   I am not an adrenaline junky.  I like things calm and quite.  I panic easily, but I also draw diagrams on how the OR back table is set up.  One rotation I went to, the head RN was specific to where each instruments were placed.  That being said, if I was going to lunch, a RN from that specific team would cover my lunch, and Viola, the instruments are on the same place where she would put them.  There were sutures with no needles.  I would fold the towels and in between the creases, I put the sutures in them or they would be all tangled up.  Yes, I would label them too.  And some of them where attached to a hemostat, like a forcep.  I am so not an adrenaline junky.  As the semester went on, and went to different hospitals for clinicals.  I scrubbed in, and watch, scrubbed in and assisted with the help of my preceptor.  Then finally I scrubbed in alone, set up the OR table all alone, counted the instruments, started and finished the case alone.  My preceptor was nearby if I needed help, but some cases were so easy, that she didn't need to scrub in with me.  It also helped that I have worked with the nicest surgeons.  They are very nice, polite, knows my name and doesn't yell.  To me, they know what they are doing and they don't brag.  Now, the ones that yell, and throw, YES Throw instruments at me because I handed them the wrong instruments.
He said, "Forceps"
I ask, "Which ones?"  There are about 5 different kinds here.
"Anything" he yelled back.
So I handed them one that was close to me.  They were not happy with it.
THOSE, those type of surgeons are arrogant and they don't know what they want.  One guy yelled at me because he thought I gave him the wrong suture.  He didn't know what kind he used, but the RN knew.  This was when I first started working and after a while you get to memorize the steps and know to give them what they want before he asked.  I have reached that point in my hand surgery rotation.
I am no an adrenaline junky, if I know all my instruments, and I know what he is asking for and I am ready then I say, "Bring it on!"  As my professor said, "You KNOW what you KNOW."  They can't argue with you no matter what.
I saw pictures of a friend at a hospital in the OR and made me miss the OR.  Then again, I don't miss the yelling.  I do miss working at a dermatologist medical office.


  1. I know I would want the physician/surgeon to know the exact type of instrument needed. Do you think you would ever go back to that type of work?

  2. I don't know. I do miss it, but the stress. I also enjoyed working in a dermatologist office. I worked 4- 10 hr days and off for 3 days. She had no calls, no weekend, and off on Holidays. I would probably try and take some classes since my certification expired. I was renewed it every year, but let it go since there was a yearly fee plus test cost when I knew I wasn't going back to work very soon. I think I was overwhelmed it took 1.5 years to train in all types of surgeries and I didn't even go to the specialty like Cardiac. I did transplant thought and neuro, general, plastics, ENT and hand was my "home" or specialty. I scrubbed in most cases. Thanks for the comment.

  3. I was working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago downtown) then I went to Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group in the suburbs. They are mostly offices around the city and suburbs. Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Peds one office and OB GYN too.