Me and My Surgery On-Call Adventures

Today, I helped put a nice man’s bowels back into his abdomen.

I’m sitting in the operating room lounge, its 10:42 PM, we just finished one appendectomy for an acute appendicitis, which was perforated (leaking purulent material into the peritoneal cavity), and an evisceration of an abdominal wound. So, a gentleman had a not-so-closed wound from a previous procedure, and now his bowels were pushing through gaping holes in the wound.

The surgical fellow (and chief resident) asked me to scrub in, which I did. The scrub nurse yelled at me to not touch anything on her table where she hands the surgeon on all the tools. The chief resident leaned over and reassured me that all of them had been yelled at for doing so before. She did a great job explaining different parts of the procedure, and answered all of my questions. 

My resident, a Plastics Resident Year 1, seems to take more time teaching me at night than he does during the day. This is still more exciting than my psychiatry rotation / on-call nights – where we had decompensated schizophrenics high on some kind of drug.

Still, I love clerkship, and everything I’m learning. I don’t think surgery is a career I would want to get into as a PA, but I’m learning a lot of useful things I can use if I end up in Family Medicine or Emergency. I’m trying my  best to get into a urology for my surgery selective (2 weeks of a surgical specialty of our choice during our 6 week surgical rotation). I figure that there will be plenty of patients who come in with urinary symptoms and emergencies, it’d be useful to know.

This entry doesn’t make much sense, but I started my day at 5 am this morning.

The night is quiet now, so I’m going to head to my call room to hopefully get some shut eye before we get another consult, and that oh-so-unpleasant pager goes off.


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