Saturday, September 11, 2010

Not my usual Showplace 16 Theater

On Tuesdays and Thursday we have theater days (Operating room days). Tuesday consisted of four C-sections, a tubal ligation, and an abdominal hysterectomy. Here are a few things I learned from just one day in the OR here:

1) I can literally sweat from every pore on my body. I’ll just leave that one alone.
2) Room turnover time can literally be 3 minutes…all you really need is a mop and new sheets.
3) Who needs a bovie? All bleeding stops eventually. “Just get the baby out.”
4) The concept of a waiting room means that family members sit on a bench directly outside the O.R. and you run into them with the stretcher as you exit.
5) Overhead lights are not always essential.

Most surprising of all is how little the consultants actually do in the operating room. I spent the entire day operating while my consultant played DJ (meaning he sat at the corner desk and played songs from his laptop all day...mostly American worship songs but that's beside the point). It’s so shocking how much autonomy the interns have here. Basically the interns here are doctors that have completed medical school and spend their one intern year rotating through the various areas of medicine (surgery, pediatrics, OB/GYN, medicine).  After that time, they’re expected to be able to function as an actual physician wherever they choose to practice whether it's in an actual town hospital or in a remote rural area where they are the only doctor. Even after only one year! They are INCREDIBLY busy! I seriously won’t complain ever again about work and call (well…I’ll try not to ever complain about those things again). They (2 interns) manage the inpatients which includes all OB and GYN patients. They are also responsible for seeing the outpatients in clinic during the day (which can be anywhere from 20 to 100). They also help the midwives with any high risk laboring patients. The consultant is really only called upon to finalize plans. The craziest part of it all…they operate without a consultant even in the middle of night on high risk patients. I would have to sign away my first seven children because of all my lawsuits if what happens here actually happened in the U.S.

So my intern (the one I've worked with the most and who is awesome by the way) operates like she’s an actual surgeon even though this is here third and final month of OB this year. That is what's expected of them. That’s the pressure and workload that they deal with. My job is basically to assist them like a consultant but I try and help out in any way I can. I staff and also see patients in clinic, tell them when a laboring patient needs a C-section, help with surgeries…I’m trying to help in any way I can but I still feel like the interns do so much more.

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