Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Todays an OS kinda day

I'm on my Oral Surgery Rotation right now. And basically have been exhausted all week. Please take note of the dark circles beneath my eyes. How darling.

Today I was at Boston Medical Center's Oralfacial Maxillosugery department. Several things contributed to my exhaustion/annoyance.

1. My freaking supervisor at BU Oral Surgery department told me to come to school at 8 am... even though I didnt need to be there till 8:30am cause the fourth years were taking an Oral exam that required all the OS faculty.

2. Though generally I'm not squeamish around blood, occasionally I'll see an extraction that makes me want to claw my eyes out. Full mouth extractions are heinous. Always. And today's first extraction of the day, just seemed too bloody and violent. Add to that a small bone artery that was spurting blood at me... Dude. I almost lost it. Blood spurting is too much. Gently infusing the socket and surrounding bone is ok. Spurting is not. Got it? Good.

3. A random OS resident entered the room and asked for a student to watch/assist him in a bilateral mandible fracture surgery. "Oh there's a third year - she can go." "You squeamish around blood? How do you feel about tissue retraction?" - Lets go with five minutes ago things were appearing brutal and tedious and I was getting squeamish? I'll just stay quiet and follow you.

The surgery was four hours long. And my whole body aches because of it. And I saw/did a few firsts:
I accidentally leaned on someone's sterile gown and felt stupid for ruining its sterility.
I am pretty sure the med students observing were cursing my name because I had a better view of the surgery than they did.
Also, I witnessed them putting a catheter in this guy. Eek. 
I scrubbed into the surgery - up to my elbows and just like the tv shows. Except now they have brushless scrub soap. 
I then entered the operation room and was taught to dry my hands off in a sterile manner. 
Someone put a sterile gown on me, tied me up at the back and twirled me around to finish tying it (and told me not to feel stupid because everyone twirls).
I also got sterile gloves on. Then immediately touched my full face mask and had to re-get sterile gloves on.
My mask rode up the entire surgery. And drove me crazy the entire surgery.
I watched them cut through a man's neck to get at the fracture on one side of his jaw.
They also totally cut and reflected the floor of his mouth to get at the other fracture.
Mid-way through I thought to myself - its gonna take awhile to put this man's face back together.
But it didnt really.
The head surgeon at the start of the surgery was a cocky, arrogant man, that made fun of the resident as he worked, telling him he was gonna cut the external jugular vein and then he'd have to fix it.
He also called me Missy several times and had me right in there holding back tissue, suctioning, whatever else.
I kinda liked his bravado.
The surgeon who replaced him was totally a "helicopter mom"... and I did alot more standing at the head of the table with nothing in my hands with him.

The surgery itself felt very "medical". Which may sound like a stupid way to describe it, but seriously. I also felt terribly young and naive. But I wasnt the least bit squeamish about retracting tissue, suctioning blood and the smell of burning flesh (cause they cauterized their way through some tissue layers). Legitimately, I would do alright as an Oral surgeon I think. But on the other hand, I do not feel smart enough to be that. And to remember everything they need to remember. And really I have no idea what comes after graduating from dental school. I'm just so focused right now on surviving. 

I also was reminded of how much I hate standing. Its part of the reason I never really did choir. By the time the resident lead me through the maze that is the hospital, the other students had left for the day. I had worked straight through lunch and for longer than the other students. I was beat. I got my flu shot and left. My feet ache. I keep falling asleep as I study. And I just know that tomorrow is gonna be one hell of a day. I need to get my Mandibular Block competency, and take my Fixed midterm, both of which I feel ill prepared for. Awesome. 

Anyone wanna come be me for a day? Cause I need a break from myself.


becky said...

i loved every second of that post..i love blood and guts.

Tiffany Kay Smith said...

You are one of the coolest people I know. For real. I loved that story.

Dani said...

Hey sounds like my kind of day! So fun! (uhm... minus the studying crap after wards, that's just too bad) but assisting in surgery, super fun!)

brock + amy said...

this made me miss my job!

Deidre said...

Holy crap. You are a rock star. I'm wondering if I had been in the same situation what I would have done. Probably wet my pants or something. Way to go!

Royall said...

I think I just threw up in my mouth...three times. I am in awe of you.

Shelby Lou said...

RAAHHH. I just cringed and made a million different faces. I'm at work too. Which makes it kind of awkward for everyone else. Oh em gee. You are a brave brave woman.