Last Wednesday was the UF class of 2012's last last day of class in undergrad. While many trotted off to lectures into the beautiful morning, I was headed to a different type of classroom: the operating room.
No, I wasn't getting surgery - just watching. Although my practicum officially ended Sunday night, my instructor agreed to let me scrub in on a surgical case. And even though my alarm was set for the ungodly hour of 5:15 AM, I was too excited to care! I got a text from one of the nurses on the unit at 5:30 telling me to meet her on the floor at 7. After a quick change into surgical scrubs, I was brought to the pre-op holding area to meet my patient, who was having a coronary artery bypass graft (lovingly referred to as CABG or "cabbage"). I was especially excited for this type of surgery because Grandpa Jimmy Rock had one a few years back and I've cared for tons of patients in the ICU and regular units after this surgery. I barely had enough time to put on my scrub cap & mask before we were rolling to the OR.
I'll spare you the boring medical stuff, but I will say that it was totally awesome! The team of anesthesiologists, surgeons, perfusionist, nurses and techs worked seamlessly together from the second the patient rolled into the room. The sterile field ready to go, the anesthesiologists sedated him and then put all of their IV lines in to precisely monitor his vital signs. The nurse was running around getting the room set up. I loved watching all of the sterile procedures and how everyone knew what everyone else was doing.
I don't see myself working in an operating room anytime soon. I understand why surgery is necessary (in most cases) but I've seen the suffering that some patients go through after such an invasive procedure. I'd rather stay at the bedside and help these people get better.
And that concludes my practicum, spring semester, senior year and undergraduate career. All that's left is to walk across that stage and flip my tassel!