A year at U of R

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Papers and paradise

Here's a quick note, because I'd rather be blogging than writing the billions of essays that I've got to do this weekend. O.K., not billions, but two. I've got papers for my research class and for clinicals, and a test to study for on Monday.

Today I accompanied a patient to the operating room at Strong. It was the first time I'd been there. It felt like Chicago O'hare airport on Thanksgiving. There was a huge computer screen outside the entrance listing about a hundred arrivals, departures and delays. It constantly changed and updated with the latest status. It was interested to read on the board the variety of surgeries going on. There were adult circumcisions, kidney removals, amputations of polydactyly (sixth fingers), stent placements, bone grafts and splenectomies.

The whole OR set-up is in the basement, so it has an other-worldly, bomb-shelter feel. The room that the patients go to immediately before and after surgery is one huge long ward with the walls on either side lined with rows of beds. There is very little privacy. It actually felt a little like a shipping dock. The patients move in and out as fast as they can get them there. When one is ready to go, they slap a sheet of green paper on the end of the bed that says "Ready for OR". I wonder if I jumped into one of those beds, and slapped a paper on the end that said "Ready for Hawaii," would they send me off to paradise?