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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