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Sunday, February 26, 2012

My First Week in the OR and Blogiversary Giveaway Winner!

So I had quite the interesting first week in the OR!  I'm doing my surgery rotation with an orthopedic group.  It really is similar to wood-working.  There are drills and screws, and dremel type tools.

Surgeons holding tools in operating room [BLD078069]

Ok, so obviously this is an exaggeration.  The surgeons don't stand around with their masks half on holding huge power tools, but it's pretty awesome!

On Monday I met my preceptor at 6:45am and got changed.  Our first case was a totol knee replacement.  Pretty crazy stuff!

Once that case was finished we moved over to the outpatient surgery center.  At this point I had only eaten a poptart and it was getting close to 10:00am.  We headed to our next case which was a rotator cuff repair.  This is an arthroscopic procedure, and I got the job of holding the arm in the correct position.  Essentially I was doing two bicep curls for almost an hour.  And I'm a wimp.  I have absolutely no upper body strength, I swear this person's arm weighed 20 pounds, and I was starving.

I was sweating bullets and could feel myself getting weaker and weaker.  I sat there hoping the procedure would be over soon.

I managed to wait until the surgeon had left the OR and my preceptor, a PA, was getting ready to close the incision.  I couldn't hold out any longer, and I told her I felt really weak.

One of the RNs came to my rescue and helped me walk over to a stool in the corner of the room.  I wasn't feeling any better, so they had me lay down on the cool floor.  All I could think about was getting some food in my stomach, and I kind of felt like this:

trenta pass out

Once a little bit of my color returned they helped me into the hallway and went to get me a coke.  While I was waiting for the coke I proceeded to have a massive hand cramp.  Looking back now I can't stop laughing at how ridiculous this whole scenario is.

They finally returned with a coke which I chugged, and almost immediately felt better once I got some sugar in my system.

We only had one more surgery for the day, so I grabbed a big lunch and did fine.

Moral of the story, you gotta eat your breakfast and keep hydrated!

Wednesday went much more smooth and my preceptor made sure I was eating all day.  Thank goodness, because we ended up being in the OR from 7:30am - 10:00pm. 

My feet were a little tired at the end of that day, and I was hopping from foot to foot in the OR, kinda like this gal:

There were two ORs; Sarah Zack and Anne Marie Rich were the only anesthesia staff.

Now that I've learned to eat, I'm enjoying the OR much more!  It's not nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be.  Now my biggest obstacle is learning my anatomy, and my goodness there's a ton of it!

I've already seen a total knee replacement, total hip replacement, a few knee and shoulder arthroscopic procedures, ankle fusion, a few hardware removals, a gamma rod placed in a fractured hip and a fractured elbow repair.  These folks are busy!

Thanks to everyone for your words of support and encouragement!

Now, what you've all been waiting for!

The winner of my blogiversary giveaway!

Congratulations to Pinwheels & Peonies!

I'll be e-mailing you shortly!

I hope you all have enjoyed your weekend, and have a great week!



  1. I has a similar experience with clinical rotations but i was in all the isolation garb and all the student from my clinical group were in this tiny space and we were watching how to clean a fasciotomy. I ran to the bathroom as soon as I saw dots, puked, got water and was ready to go.. all because my blood sugar was too low, not because i was freaked out

  2. Congratulations Pinwheels and Peonies on your win.
    And Katie, I have all sorts of respect for you to do what you do. OR nurse-tech and blogger and family. I had 3 surgeries in 13 months and pray I never see another OR my entire life. I can say the 3rd surgery those guys and gals were awesome. They understood my total fear and took control before I went balistic on them. I had almost died before surgery 2 so they knew why I was so scared. And like you I can look back and laugh at the whole scenario now. This all happened 2 short years ago.

  3. so glad you are ok now! phew! i cannot go anywhere without breakfast.... not only might i pass out like that but i am a miserable wench!

  4. I thought about you often this week. I would have been terrified. But it sure sounds like you worked it out. Way to go girlfriend!

  5. haha thats a cute story that made me chuckle! Maybe do some bicep curls on the weekends?? lol!!! :) And pack some almonds in your pocket?? lol!!

  6. Happy anniversary, you are a true happy inspiration in Blogoland!

  7. Wow! My mom got her hip replaced last year and I can't believe how much easier it is for her to move around.

  8. Just thought I'd share this:
    The first time I read your blog a very funny thing happened, It seemed very much like a blog about me. I don't have a blog though I would like to venture to do one some day, but there were so many similarities that it kind of made me giggle. I'm in PA school, married my best friend from high school, recently purchased our first home, love color and I love to create! Kind of funny I know, but I wanted you to know that your blog does inspire me and the fact that you have a blog inspires me that I could also! Hope your day is wonderful and good luck with the rest of your rotations!

  9. Thanks Lori!! I'm not sure where you are right now in your school, but good luck to you too! We've only got 4 1/2 months left and it has flown by!! If you've been thinking about starting a blog I would definately do it! It's been a great creative outlet, and I've met tons of wonderful people!


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