A year at U of R

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

First time in an OR

The labor and delivery portion of the clinical is supposed to be primarily observation for the nursing students. It has turned out to be fairly hands on, though. This week I was in the triage area, observing at the doctors and nurses as they prepared several patients for cesarean sections. I asked how long it would take. The nurse said it would be a while, since they had to give them anesthesia, insert catheters, and prep them. "Catheter?" I thought. "Bingo!"

"Would it be possible for me help do the Foley catheter?" I asked. Before I knew what I'd gotten into, I was in.

I had done one Foley insertion, the week before. However, as I'm learning, every single situation is unique.

This time, I was in an operating room. I was wearing ridiculously large surgical scrubs, since they didn't have size extra-small. I had a flowery paper bonnet over my hair, and a surgical mask tied over my face. I was absolutely freezing, since the operating rooms are kept at arctic temperatures. And I was listening to Faith Hill wafting out from the boombox in the corner. That was my first experience in an O.R.

The while the anesthesiologist gave an epidural, I helped hold the Mom's arm, so she wouldn't fall forward if she got dizzy. Then it was time for the Foley.

I don't think I would have felt nervous this time, if it hadn't been for the situation. The nurse whispered to me a last piece of advice, "You have to do it quickly! This doctor hates to wait."

OK, now I was nervous. The room was full of people ... the anesthetist, the M.D., a Resident, assistants, and a classmate. This time, though, bunny-suit or not, I knew what I was doing. I donned my gloves aseptically and with lightening speed. I tested the balloon at the catheter tip, following correct procedures. I swabbed the area, lubricated and coiled my catheter, and in it went! Success!