We got a daunting email just a couple weeks into summer explaining when our semester of junior surgery would be occurring. Based on our career preference, we were grouped into fall or winter semester surgery groups, and mine will be this coming fall. It is absolutely crazy to think that I will soon be the one wielding the scalpel and having a living, breathing patient beneath my hands. That’s a huge responsibility to be taking on, but it’s what I’ve been working toward my whole life.
It’s making me realize just how incredibly important it is to know the nitty-gritty details of everything we learned. Even if I learned it way back at the beginning of first year, I still need to be able to remember all that anatomy. I need to apply pharmacology and anesthesiology for sedating, maintaining and treating pain in my patient. I need to remember my medicine course for determining fluid needs, and I’ll definitely need my intro to surgery course to pick out the proper equipment and practice sterile technique, in addition to suturing. So many things come together for just one simple procedure like a spay, and this summer I’m making sure that knowledge is prepped and ready to go in my head for when I need it in the fall.
When we do procedures, I’m making sure to pay attention to the pre-medications we give, how the intubation and catheterization occurs, the way the incision is made, the manner in which sutures are placed, everything. I want to make sure I can think through a procedure, know exactly what I’m going to do, and then when the time comes, be able to do it myself.