Successful surgery rotation tips

I recently finished my two months of surgery rotations.

I am happy to say that I really enjoyed my surgery rotations. I thought I was going to be intimidated by the OR, but I found it fascinating. I am relieved, since surgery is a big part of OB/GYN.

Here are a few things I learned on my surgery rotation:

  • Scrub in before the surgeon but after the OR nurse.
  • Before you scrub in, introduce yourself to the OR staff and give them your glove size.
  • The OR is really cold. At our location, they keep warmed blankets in a room right off the OR. Great for the patients, and great if you are observing to procedure. Can’t use them if you’re scrubbed in, of course.
  • You can use the suction to suck the smoke coming off the “Bovie” (electrocautery tool).
  • Getting the gown on and tied is the hardest part of the scrubbing in procedure.
  • When you cut surgical knots, pronate! Pronate! (OK, that was just with my surgeon. Every one has their own particularities).
  • If a nurse offers you a standing stool, say yes. But then don’t trip over it.
  • Don’t say “whoa!” really loudly with surprise if a blood vessel starts spurting into the air. If you can help it.
  • Ask if you can close, don’t wait for them to offer.
  • Ethicon has free knot tying practice boards, available on their website.
  • Urine output is important. Bowel movements are important. You will have to notice and talk about both, a lot, especially post-op.

MomTFH is a medical student who blogs at Mom’s Tinfoil Hat.

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  • Orthopedic physician assistant

    Funny observations about the OR. Thanks for sharing!

  • mdstudent31

    Good stuff! Our surgery rotation was 12 weeks long so we were able to get acquainted pretty well with the OR over that amount of time. Having had OB before surgery, it was helpful in regards to learning the ropes in the OR, scrubbing in, and how not to get hit/slapped by the scrub nurse.

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