Wow. I was on call on Friday (24+ hours) and it was INSANE. I did not sleep once and spent probably three-quarters of the night in theater. One emergency C-section after another, a handful of ectopic pregnancies – and a team of two: one medical officer and one intern (that’s me).
However, this was probably THE most incredible surgical-time I have ever spent on call. The medical officer I worked with was so experienced in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. I have never seen someone do a C-section or a salpingectomy so speedily – and she is not even close to finishing her training in OBGYN yet.
The downside was that I did not have the opportunity to do a solo Caesarian Section – because we were constantly rushing for the next case, so there was no time for a slow intern to learn – but she (the MO) taught all the way through every surgery. Which is more than I can say for the doctors I worked with in medical school.
What amazed me was that she operated so CLEANLY. I’m not in the business of comparing people more qualified than myself because I know that there is more than one way to skin a cat (or to cut out a baby, if you will), but it was a pleasure to not constantly be in fear of wayward sharps. It so often happens that I assist with people who leave their scalpels lying around or don’t put their needles in safety-position before putting them down, and it just adds unnecessary stress to assisting.
I’m sure it takes more effort to operate like she did, but I’ll definitely try to employ her technique when I start doing C-sections.
Speaking of highly efficient people: we also operated with one of the best scrub nurses I am yet to meet. He is from the Philippines (but has lived in South Africa for longer than I have been alive) and he actually put my gloves on for me like they always do in Grey’s Anatomy! I thought that was just something that happens in movies. It was so cool.
Highlight of the night: an emergency salpingectomy for a ruptured ectopic of TEN WEEKS gestational age. It was incredible (and more than a little sad) to see the live fetus swimming around in the sac when we removed it. Mom had more than 1000cc blood in her abdomen but recovered so well post-surgery. YAY.
Usually I try not to sleep all day when I am post-call, but this was without a doubt one of the roughest calls I have had. So, I slept til 20h00.