Observing a surgery

  1. What did you get to observe? I am afraid of knee replacements as they seem really bloody and barbaric, but I'm thinking that is probably what I'll get. What did you see?
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    About Achoo!

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 1,740; Likes: 50
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  3. by   RN_Jen
    Hip replacements are what you should really be afraid of. Why, the sound alone....... I'll pass on anything ortho!

    I got to see cardiac bypass, mitral valve replacement, hysterectomy, and C-sections
  4. by   cardiacRN2006
    I saw a Mitral Valve replacement, perforated bowel (terrible outcome), inguinal hernia repair, and some other minor surgeries. The MVR took one whole clinical day. I started in the Pre-op area, watched the Dr place all the central lines, and then went with him to OR. Of course, in OB you get to see a ton of C-sections as well.
  5. by   Medwynn
    I saw a Lobectomy. It wasn't that bloody but that cauderizing tool to the skin was a wake up smell. Then they had to crack two ribs ... or was it one with something that looked like a lock cutter *crack*. Spread the rib open and i saw the lung.

    Just last week i was able to observe a cath lab procedure. Too bad they didn't place a stent. oh well
  6. by   suzy253
    Seemed to have been a run on lap chole's that day I observed. Got to watch it on a TV screen. :spin:
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Achoo!
    What did you get to observe? I am afraid of knee replacements as they seem really bloody and barbaric, but I'm thinking that is probably what I'll get. What did you see?


    For knee replacements, you'll hear (see) hammers, drills, and saws.

    One way to help ease yourself is first, remind yourself why the pt. is getting this done. They were in pain, problems with joint movement, which somemwhat compromised their quality of life.

    Next, maybe ask the person giving the anesthesia what all medications the pt. will be receiving before, during and after. This will help ease your mind a little.

    We have one surgeon who gives a copy of his pre-printed (unsigned, with the word VOID written across it) post-op orders to the student, to help with their paperwork.

    And of course, when you get in the room, look for a chair, so you'll knkow where it is, just in case you need to have a seat.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from suzy253
    Seemed to have been a run on lap chole's that day I observed. Got to watch it on a TV screen. :spin:
    Anything with a scope is good, because it's hard to see open procedures as detailed.
  9. by   NeoNurseTX
    CABG, placement of artificial aortic valve, breast tumor removal, boob job, nose jobs, d&c, c-sections, three level laminectomy (borrring), giant tumor removed from brain, lap choly, and that's all i can remember.
  10. by   MySimplePlan
    My mother, a retired surgical nurse, says the #1 thing a student can do to prepare for surgery observation is to eat a good breakfast!!!
  11. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    three level laminectomy (borrring),
    A little more exciting, if you can see up close, the nervs branching off, and the spinal cord. It all looked like spagetti wrapped in Saran Wrap.
  12. by   shellsgogreen
    Quote from mysimpleplan
    my mother, a retired surgical nurse, says the #1 thing a student can do to prepare for surgery observation is to eat a good breakfast!!!
    heh....cute smiley! (great advice though)


    i got to see a lap choly also on the big screen - i wasn't sure how i would react, considering i'd never been in an or before (i thought i would be ok, but didn't want to assume)
    the circulating nurse was awesome; he explained every single thing, and the chief of surgery was operating that day and was very keen to show off his knowledge to students...
    i got a wonderful experience and even got to spend some time with the patient pre and post op to see how they were doing...
  13. by   BeccaznRN
    I lucked out with my OR observations.....I saw a bilateral lung transplant, an esophagectomy, and a Tetrology of Fallot repair. I'm doing my senior preceptor hours in the OR this semester, and I can't wait!
  14. by   MissJoRN
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    A little more exciting, if you can see up close, the nervs branching off, and the spinal cord. It all looked like spagetti wrapped in Saran Wrap.
    I agree, what's more boring than a lami seen from acress the room? Maybe cataracts from across the room. Be polite and professional and show a real interest in learning, believe it or not, if there's nothing to see it's OK to ignore the actual op site and pay attention to what the RN circulator in the room is doing, ask how he/she prepared the room for the procedure, how the pt was prepared (if you weren't there) talk to the CRNA or MDA and learn about the meds, etc. Eventually, the surgeon or circ will start to like you and maybe offer a peek in the microscope. (If nobody starts to become friendly, I'm sorry, it happens, but ideally nobody would place a student in a room like that!)

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