Prep, Scrub, surgery and repeat

One very intense week has come and gone. Now, early hours of the morning, reviewing/learning about intestinal adenocarcinoma in cats. Also, working on treatment sheets, prescriptions, surgery reports and discharge instructions for my current ICU patients. I did not know 40% of my day would consist of paperwork…something tells me there are more efficient ways of handling records.

Hardcopy medical records are the sun-dial of the medical field. Outdated and even more inefficient. One of my patient’s records is so vast, it cannot possibly be confined to a single standard manilla envelope. Rather, it gets sectioned off into volumes that are still busting at the seams. Even though this hasn’t happened yet, I imagine the day when my classmate is in dire straits. I’d love to offer assistance with patient handling or grabbing supplies, but I need all the possible strength I can must in order to lug this patient’s encyclopedia around. A veterinary school should be the gold standard not just in medicine, but in pharmaceutical protocol, communication and record keeping.

Aside from my rant on hardcopy records, I’ve been pretty tied up with soft tissue surgery. Mornings start around 6 AM with patient care, followed by rounds, then appointments on two days of the week. Two other days of the week are dedicated to procedures. Some of the surgeries or procedures I’ve seen thus far include lumpectomies, rostral maxillectomies, mandibulectomies, resection and anastomosis, foreign body retrieval, endoscopy of a pharyngeal cavity, retropulsing uretal obstructions and lots of sterile scrubbing. My arms have never been so clean.

Rounds topics have included tracheostomies, wound dressing, bandaging, suturing, margins of different masses and mast cell tumors. Between rounds, patient care, surgery and paperwork, my days have been spent mostly at school from 6AM-7PM. A couple ICU shifts kept me at school until 9PM, but those nights I was lucky…things were slow. All in all, I’ve definitely established I’m not a surgery buff. Aside from field surgeries, I have no real interest in sugery. Mass removals- sure. But R&As, no thank you.

Next week is ortho…the land of TPLOs.