Today our Surgical Orientation class took the much awaited visit to the OR at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. The surgical department was quite a fascinating environment. I wish I had pictures but alas I did not take my camera. However hopefully I can get a pretty nice visual worked up for you. The point of the trip was to orient everyone in the class to the OR. We needed to know where things are, who will be in the room, and what we can and cannot do.
First thing first, we learned about fashion in the OR. We borrowed scrubs -we got to use the scrub machine- as well as hairnets and…
The whole get-up looked something like this:
After we were properly dressed our tour guide gave us a nice introduction to the OR. I did not have anything to take notes with but I will give you the fragments of what I remember. There were 18 rooms, numbered 1-12 and 14-19 (13 is skipped for superstitious reasons). What struck me as interesting, made a lot of sense but I had not thought about, is each room was designated to certain types of surgeries. Up until now I just assumed that an operating room was an operating room, but after seeing the plethora of instruments the surgical field has, it just makes sense. One room would never hold all the instruments needed for every type of procedure.
When in the room there will be a handful of people with different responsibilities, alway at least two nurses and the surgeon as well as residents. Also, when in the room, always stay 12 inches or more away from the sterile field.
Another tid bit that I did not know was that about 80% of the surgeries are done either laparoscopic or roboticly, no longer are open procedures as common. At first this seems less ‘intriguing’ when viewing a surgery, but in reality it makes my job a lot easier. It places what I am looking at on a 2-dimensional field (making it easier to translate 2-dimensionally) as well as give me the opportunity to see everything more readily. When viewing an open procedure, given the amount of people in the room and the space you need to keep from the sterile field, you might not get to see all that much of the process.
The trip was was a little intimidating. The class as a whole did not have many questions. Everyone seemed in awe of this new environment. I am eager for my visits in the fall when I will visit the OR, take notes and produce sketches of surgical procedure. I hope I get a nice surgeon willing to give me a few good peeks!