Shadowing a Surgeon

Click the link to read about my first ever shadowing time- an ER PA.

Well, onto my time shadowing a surgeon. Wonderful story about that…

So I got there around 7:15 in the morning. Finally, a nurse came out at 7:30, and I followed her back to the doctor’s desk area- I don’t really know what you call it…it was back in the part of the wing with the ORs, but he didn’t do his notes there. How’s that for helpful??

I watched him do two very basic surgeries. Amazing!! Then I was able to watch a surgery where he actually had to scrub in. I got to wear scrubs and a hair net from the very beginning! The anesthesiologist told me to stand by him, and he showed me his machines and notes and different things like that. I couldn’t see down inside the incision, but I could see enough:) The anesthesiologist (I don’t know if I can use their names) showed me the anatomy on his tablet of what the doctors were doing. He showed me where the organ was and what veins and arteries that they had to deal with. He pointed out different organs that they needed to push out of the way to get to the organ on which they were operating. That was probably the highlight of my visit. He was very informative and friendly to me.

We stood there for about 15-20 minutes. We hadn’t said anything for awhile. All of a sudden, they started to suture again, and then it hit me. The smell and the closeness of the mask and goggles and the stationary position just all hit me at once. I felt myself go nauseous. I asked the anesthesiologist if I could sit down in his chair. He kind of laughed and said, “Yes, I’ve been watching you. You’re going a little white.” The circ nurse came over and asked if I was OK. I, of course, said yes. But then the doctor assisting ‘my’ surgeon said, “*Circ nurses’s name*, she needs out.” So the nurse picked me up and helped me out of the room. I really didn’t know what was happening. It all was going so fast. My vision started to go black and fuzzy. I remember her sitting me down in the chair at the desk, tilting my head back, and then I said, ‘I’m blacking out.’ *Like they  didn’t know:p* Then I passed out.

I kind of remember them wheeling me in the chair and then being picked up my hands and feet and laid down in a bed. I woke up to people staring down at me. You know how in medical shows, when a patient passes out, they wake up and the camera’s focus is fuzzy and then slowly focuses? Well if you ever wondered if it is real, then your answer is yes. It really happened like that. I always wondered if that actually happened when you woke up after that. It did to me!

One of then asked me my name. They had put a blood pressure cuff on me. They asked me if I felt better. I did, but I was so tired! They told me that my face looked better. Apparently my face had gone ghost white and my lips were still white for about five minutes after I woke up. They made me drink orange juice, and then called my grandma. It was only 10:30 so I was kind of disappointed that I had to go home. When we got back to my grandma’s house, I slept for about three hours. So tired!

The good thing is that I now know that I probably do not want to be a surgeon and that I can take the sight of blood. It wasn’t the sight that made me pass out, it was the smell and claustrophobia. I don’t think that I would want to be a surgeon though because I don’t feel I could handle that job and raise a family, which is one of my life dreams.

[Update: I just went back to read the above paragraph, and I can’t believe that I wrote that! Of course I can become a surgeon and still have a family! Surgery is actually one of my number one picks for a specialty right now–actually neonatal surgery, but I would have to do a general surgery residency first. So anyway, disregard the paragraph above this one because it is no longer how I view surgery!]

We will see though where God takes me through all of this.

But overall, it was a successful trip. I hope to go back and finish the day sometime:)

Have you ever had an experience like that–you loved it but something happened to interrupt it?



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