Hey, everyone! I’m writing this, at home, in the middle of the morning, because I had to step away from a surgery case. Again.
(I like saying “step away“. It makes it sound much more professional than “feel incredibly hot, nauseous, realize the room is threatening to spin, pray the surgeon is almost done suturing, but… nope. Game over, verbal notice of giving up, head between my knees in a corner.”)
After a few minutes, it was obvious I wasn’t going to re-scrub in, so the surgeon suggested I leave.
Sometimes I think about writing a post called Lies Med School Tells You. #1 would be “If you feel sick during a surgery, just politely tell the team and step back. It happens all the time; they won’t bat an eye.”
HAH. In my experience, they act like you just announced “I’m going to collapse on the patient immediately, maybe pull out a few tubes while I’m at it; hope that’s okay.”
I mean, who can blame them? You should still calmly tell the team you’re going to step away – but don’t expect them to act like this is anything short of a national emergency.
(To any pre-meds worrying about this: don’t. I learned months ago that this does not happen if I just drink 2 bottles of gatorade the day before & have a non-sugary breakfast with absolutely no coffee.
Naturally, this meant that yesterday I drank absolutely no water, and this morning had a reasonable breakfast of 4 cups of coffee and a cinnamon roll. Because I make good choices.)
I don’t know if I should go back in for the next surgery. The surgical team doesn’t expect me to (and would probably be happier if I didn’t. Nobody likes having to hover over the notoriously vasovagal med student), I absolutely don’t want to, and even if it makes the surgeon think less of me, he’s not grading me. And I physically feel like there’s a very good chance I’ll do this again on the next case.
But the fact remains: I’m scheduled to be in the OR today. So naturally, there’s a really annoying voice in the back of my head that’s saying, “You idiot. You know what you have to do. Get back in there.”
… I hate that voice.