Today I spend 4 hours watching ocular injections.

Ocular injections are an interesting beast.  First, you have to get an injection to numb the eye. This numbing injection looks exactly like a PPD – meaning that the needle is delicately positioned right underneath the thinnest of the epithelial layers, causing a huge bubble to erupt out of the sclera.

This is disconcerting.

Then, you get the metal eye contraptions from A Clockwork Orange forcing your eyelids open, and finally, you get a violently deep injection of the intended medication.

I have perfected my “My, isn’t that fascinating!” look – which I attempt whilst looking at a point almost entirely – but not quite – as far away as I can get from looking at the violated eyeball.

That said, it’s still obvious that med school has desensitized me.  Sometimes I think of all the pictures on the internet that scar people for life, and how non-medical people can just… not look at those pictures.

But if you’re in medicine, and the person in that picture comes into the ED, there’s no “I don’t want to see that, ever” option.

You just have to look at the eyeball hanging out of their face, or the maggots waving hello from their bicep, or the bisected tongue, and fix it.

So in that respect, despite my lack of love for intraocular injections, I guess I’m still better than I would’ve been 3 years ago.

… mostly in that, instead of screaming and having nightmares about the mere possibility of these scenarios occurring, I now very maturely acknowledge their presence and bribe another medical student to handle them for me.


5 thoughts on “Ophthalmology

  1. OUCH! Please don’t look the other way or at least get less squeamish folks to do it! Optho is not going to be your speciality, eh?

  2. Hubby gets injection twice a year or so and laser. I can handle the laser but when hey put that agent orange thing in his eye I’m out of there. Makes me queasy just writing about it.

  3. I was actually thinking about that topic a while back. Do they do anything in med school to prepare you for the horrifying things you’ll end up seeing as you go forward? Or do you just have to gut your way through them? Do med students ever puke or pass out when they’re in the wards?

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