Things That Your Surgeon Shouldn't Be Thinking in Your Surgery
A female surgeon. I trust her face.
Who are surgeons?
Terms associated with surgery are: “Under the Knife,” “Slicin’ and Dicin’,” and “Gutting,” and that one is from way before surgery, as well as medicine, evolved to a science.
It’s no longer about a slug of “Rot gut Whiskey,” getting the patient to bite-down on a piece of wood, and cutting like a crazed meat butcher to find the problem inside (a) human body. It’s a smooth, graceful choreography between surgeon and staff—no errors, but “never events,” (laymen’s terms: events that should never have happened), that tell us that surgeons, like medical doctors, are not gods, but fallible human beings.
Even songs were written about surgeons
Before the operation by Henri Gervix
Ready for work
My personal experience with a surgeon
“Never events,” and fallibility, notwithstanding, a lot of people are alive now thanks to the talents of a surgeon. I happen to be in that stat. In 2002, my appendix ruptured in the night sending laser rays of hot, shooting pain throughout my body. I thought I was, in the battle for my pride, tough cattle drover, “Rowdy Yates,” of the legendary television western: Rawhide. I was put on my butt, knees, and back in a matter of minutes and the dream of being tough as Clint Eastwood faded like a cheap engagement ring.
At 11 a.m. the next day I entered our local hospital’s ER and by 2:30 p.m. I was awakened in my room hooked up with wires, monitors, machines, and a huge pipe that resembled a radiator hose from a ’57 Chevy jammed down my throat.
I couldn’t talk. Couldn’t eat solid food. No water or liquids to drink, just ice chips. Uh, doc, what do you think ice in its original state really is? Water. Duhhh! I had to survive with the grace of God and patience of a good wife for ten days. Simply because I did not heed the signs, weeks ago, that my appendix was (in the process) of rupturing which I wrote-off as being signs of old age. The epilogue is: I was right about signs of old age.
Surgeons and their teams do delicate work
A surgeon has to have 100% focus
A surgeon is a valuable person in the field of medicine
Surgeons: My feelings
I respect surgeons. I do not envy them in the least. Surgeons have to have nerves of steel, hands that don’t shake, and a head-full of years of compiled medical knowledge about “Everything Body,” a totally-focused mind and how to use instruments so sharp that they could split an eyelash in two pieces.
Thank God, I was, as the medical community says, “put to sleep,” with an assortment of “magical juices,” the anesthesiologist told me later. No miracle that I did not remember one detail of being “put under,” as these “Angels of Magic Mist,” call it. I thought later, as the gasses and liquids wore off that being “out like a light,” felt so good that I could make the argument for doing illegal drugs.
The thought of what my surgeon had on this mind never entered my thoughts until today, June 13, 2014, around 5 p.m., (CDST). And the moment this query surfaced, I almost broke-out into a cold sweat. This was the “real” reason that “I” never dreamed of doing surgery on people, a totally-focused mind. With my work background in the newspaper business, and now almost four years in “Hubville,” my mind is not focused, totally or otherwise. My thoughts race—seeking my next idea for a hub to publish on HubPages.
Which brings me to this though: I wonder if there are any full-time surgeons who dream of being writers who are among the masses of members of HubPages? I could be right.
So yes, I am very concerned about “Things That a Surgeon Shouldn't Be Thinking in Your Surgery,” is a cause for mild-alarm for me. Below is a compiled list of things that I pray are not a part of any surgeon’s thought processes.
Patients have to trust their surgeons
A job well done, surgery team
"Never Events," involving surgeons
A study out from Johns Hopkins Medicine this week includes some dramatic statistics about how frequently operations are marred by error. These aren't details that only a doctor could understand.
How bad is it? And how widespread? How about...
- Having a sponge or towel left in after surgery? (40 patients per week)
- Having a surgery performed on the wrong side of the body? (20 patients per week)
- Having the wrong operation altogether? (20 patients per week)
"The public scratches their head and say, come on, you've got to be kidding me about this," says Dr. Peter Pronovost, V.P. of Patient Safety at Johns Hopkins Medicine and co-author of the study. Even so, those numbers may underreport the risk of these "never events." The study used data from malpractice claims, but many instances of surgical error never get that far.
Patient safety advocates like Pronovost worry that there aren't adequate systems to watch for these kinds of errors. In the case of sponges, many operations require a great number of surgical instruments, increasing the risk that one may stay in the body.
"The way we keep track of whether we left [a sponge] in you, is simply counting what went in, and counting when they came out."
Pronovost says errors like these have always been a problem, and hospitals are working hard to fix them. He's concerned that cuts in payments to hospitals in the Affordable Care Act will put even more stress on medical professionals already working long hours.
"What health care hasn't done is use technology to improve productivity. It's largely relied on the heroism of doctors and nurses to keep safe, and now we're asking for even greater heroism," Pronovost says. "We really have to start saying, it's time for technology to start leading the way."
"What a Surgeon Shouldn't Be Thinking in Your Surgery"
- “Just how many tequila shots did I really do last night at ‘Jim’s’ bachelor party?”
- “Did I try to kiss some girl at ‘Jim’s’ bachelor party?”
- “This guy I am operating on looks like the thug who stole my second girlfriend.”
- “Wonder if the clerk at Ruby Falls got my reservation right for next week?”
- “Did my new girlfriend say when I left this morning, bye, ‘Tom’? My name is ‘Gene.’”
- “Just who is this ‘Tom’? Awww, she just made a mistake.”
- “Wonder where that hot scrub nurse is this afternoon?”
- “What’s that awful smell? It’s me! Lousy off-brand deodorant.”
- “Will this operation really go past the kick-off of the Super Bowl?”
- “Man, I could go for a sub-sandwich.”
- “Hope my staff in here cannot tell that my stomach is growling.”
- “I don’t believe this. I just accidentally passed gas. Those darn taco’s last night.”
- “What if I were to disguise my voice? Would these nurses know the celebrity I am impersonating?”
- “When this guy comes to, I am going to be standing over him with a burglar’s mask over my eyes.”
- “I just realized that I have a weak stomach—look at this blood. Yuuukkk.”
- “Oh no. I need to “Blow groceries.” “That stale doughnut on the way to work.”
- “What if I faint and hit the operating room floor?”
- “Wonder if anyone can hear me thinking?”
- “There’s ‘Millie,’ the hot, single scrub nurse. Reckon she will massage my aching neck?”
- “Reckon ‘Millie,” will be turned-on with my “Hawkeye” Pierce,” laugh?”
- “Did I remember to wear my underwear under these scrubs?”
- “Why is ‘Millie’ glaring at me over her mask? Oh my God! She was the girl I tried to kiss in the bar where we had ‘Jim’s’ bachelor party.”
- “Why can’t I have a coffee break?” “I earned it with my four years of medical school.”
- “Is this operation going to be enough for my BMW down-payment?”
- “What are those two police officers doing outside the OR?”
- “Why is ‘Millie,’ grinning like a circus clown on LSD?”
If any of you reading this “are” full-time surgeons and members of HubPages, I have this to say to you: “If you can write as well as you can operate, then you are “a cut above,” a lot of us.”