So glad to have found this board!
I am a new OR nurse in a residency program, I have been an RN for 20+ years but feel completely brand new. I was wondering if anyone new where I can find a list of names of common specimens. Trying to familiarize myself. Any advice would be appreciated.
I've only occasionally helped out in OR. I mainly worked the GI lab where labeling specimens is about 100% of my job.
What each surgeon, and gastroenterologist, call a specimen can vary from Dr. to Dr.
Your job is to loudly ask what are you calling that specimen and what is it's location. This is vital, even if you have to interrupt or repeat in a louder voice.
One GI Dr. will say polyp from descending colon. Another will call the same specimen random biopsy from right descending colon at 22cm.
You can also ask the surgeon before the case starts if they expect to be taking specimens.
I know, based on the diagnosis, imaging, planned procedure and my experience, what the specimen(s) are likely to be called. That said, I always confirm with the surgeons I'm working with. Sometimes if I'm scrubbed I'll name it (based on site/laterality) and ask them if they're okay with that...because they haven't answered my question.
Like another poster said, I DO interrupt whatever conversation might be occurring to get my answer. I don't care that we're discussing the weekend plans...I need to confirm what we're calling those specimens and the sooner you do it the better so that nothing gets missed. The diagnosis and treatment plan are often fully dependent on the pathology results and location(s). Some cases absolute accuracy matters more than others.