Tuesday, June 30, 2009

First Impressions

Today is my last official day of orientation. Tomorrow I start a science/anatomy course for the next month to give me a good review of things I will need to know/remember to be successful in my internship. This will be a good experience and I am esp excited for anatomy.

Yesterday the chief residents asked us to stay around and watch how things roll along in the clinic to try to catch on with paperwork and hospital procedures. I volunteered to assist in the OR on a trauma case. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, I passed out. in the OR. during surgery. on the floor. ugh.

I don't know if you have ever passed out before but here is what it was like for me.

Man, I am very hot. Wow, sweating like a pig hot. Hot, hot, hot. Wow, that is a mandible. It is really broken. Phew, it is hot. I should probably sit down. Uh-oh, my headlamp is plugged in and I am in between a bunch of cords (that are keeping the patient ALIVE)--I don't think I can get out. Uh, nurse, nurse, look my way (should I speak up?). Whoah, seeing spots. Better speak up:
"Um, I need to be unplugged, I'm not feeling well."

Sleep....very very dark, heavy, dreaming sleep. I think I was dreaming about SCUBA diving or something. Very restful at home in bed for hours and hours sleep.

(Slowly I open my eyes) Who is that, she is wearing green and a funny hat. I'm not at home? Oh no! I didn't! Really, Erin, really! Great. I must have passed out. Really? It seems like ages ago I was standing there assisting. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Way to make a good first impression, Erin! Oxygen, is that really necessary? Yes a wheelchair would be great. No I'm not pregnant, at least I really don't think so!

They wheeled me upstairs where I showered and changed and sheepishly went back to the clinic, hoping no one would ask why I was back so early. Don't worry, they did. Embarassing! But funny.

Luckily, I guess the huge anesthesiology resident who happened to be on our surgery caught me before I hit my head. Luckily #2, he was able to lift me completely over all of the cords and lay me safely on the floor. Luckily #3, I did not fall on the sterile field or bump the surgery. Luckily #4, people acted like it wasn't a big deal. Luckily #5, hospitals have new clean pairs of scrubs everywhere and showers.

I hope things don't continue in this fashion!


Amber W. said...

Oh no! I'm glad you're okay!

Amber W. said...

By the way, Happy Birthday!!

Abby said...

And on top of it all it's your birthday!!

I passed out once. I was visiting my friend's mom who had just had BRAIN surgery and I PASSED out--I felt bad. The weird thing was emotionally I was fine, but I had the most intense physical reaction. I got really really hot and the room got smaller as blackness creeped in on the edges of my vision. All of a sudden I was out. You're right, it feels like a really deep sleep and you feel so well rested afterward.

I have heard it's common to pass out in the OR your first time (not sure where but I swear I've heard it!).

Diana said...

Oh my goodness! What a crazy experience. My older sister passed out at her wedding reception in her hubby's small hometown in Idaho. When she came to she apologized to everyone around her. She felt bad about making such a wonderful first impression too.

Happy birthday, my dear! It must be the age that caused the light-headedness!

nathan n rachel said...

Happy Birthday Erin. I enjoyed your passing out story. Though I'm sorry that it happened...it was a good read.

Dave and Abby said...

Uh...wow. (Snicker snicker.) That really sucks. (I'm still giggling to myself.) Yeah, really sucks. Still gun-hoe on Oral Surgery? I hear Ortho is relatively bloodless...


Suz said...

Just think, now you have it out of the way. It won't happen again!

Edwards Family said...

I'm glad that you are okay. That is crazy you passed out. You definitely aren't the only one, I've seen it a few times while working in the OR, luckily they have been caught by someone every time and no one has fallen into the sterile field that I have ever seen. I think everyone has felt light-headed while standing there. How could you not. The worst is when you haven't eaten or drank anything for hours, you have been wearing lead for several hour(hot), and you have been standing forever in the same position either holding retractors or a limb that you swear has gotten 50 pounds heavier, and to top it off, not much sleep the night before. I've been afraid that I might pass out before while being scrubbed in. John has almost passed out in the OR too. The things you gotta do to perform surgery! Good luck! Even with all of that I still love surgery, it's fascinating to me!

brenna said...

Wow. That's too bad. Any idea why it happened?