This One Time, On Gen Surg…

To commemorate my half-way point in general surgery (well, the half way point of my actual number of days remaining working on general surgery)… I bring you “This one time on Gen Surg.”

Think of how the girl from American Pie says it when you read this, except substitute band camp with gen surg and obviously use my ending statements.

Heads up… These are not all for the faint of heart.  And the use of “…” is excessive.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I examined, with feigned interest, the sputum of three total strangers.

This one time, on Gen Surg… My pager went off 6 times in one minute.  It only holds 5 pages, so I got an angry call 15 minutes later from the floor who had their number deleted.  I had just gotten around to starting to try to figure out who that first caller actually was.

This one time, on Gen Surg… My patient threatened to stick a needle in my bile ducts.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I did not eat or pee for over 12 hours, but managed to take in three cups of coffee.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I walked around with needle drivers stuck on the back of my lab coat all day because someone thought it was funny.

This one time, on Gen Surg… A very old patient accused me of being one of the senior resident’s children.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I stuck my entire hand in a conscious man’s belly… And he laughed.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I walked around with enteric contents down the side of my leg and nobody noticed… For at least 3 hours.

This one time, on Gen Surg… TPN and/or Boost started to look delicious (just for a second).

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I began to notice people who did not have electrolyte abnormalities more so than those who did.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I began to question if I had electrolyte abnormalities.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  Poop made my day.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I had a heated “discussion” with a radiologist about a scan I didn’t even think someone should have because the radiologist didn’t think it was indicated either, but I still had to convince them to let me get it done.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I lost the ability to properly sign my own name.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I signed PGY1 on one of the documents to buy my car.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I suddenly started thinking having prophylactic removal of my  gallbladder and appendix would be the way to go.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I had someone tell me I was their best disimpacter of all times.  Gee, thanks.  Don’t spread that around.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I began to contemplate how JP drains look like stress balls.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I took up suturing together pig bellies…  And developed a strange craving for bacon.

This one time, on Gen Surg…  I realized removing staples is a strangely satisfying activity.  As is draining wound collections.

This one time, on Gen Surg… I discovered why one of my nursing friends considers opening dressings for the first time like the surprise of opening Christmas presents.

I think that is enough for now.  You get the picture.  All kinds of strange things have happened.  It still isn’t as bad as I thought.  I like how much I am learning.  I miss my sleep.

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6 thoughts on “This One Time, On Gen Surg…

  1. Hey Trisha! My boy, Eric, has an (unpaid) internship at a hospital. He has an interview tomorrow evening for his next rotation. It’s for the surgery rotation, very competitive and he really wants it. (Imagine that!) We will see what happens!

    I felt faint after reading your post, especially after looking up the words interic and disimpaction. But, I can’t say you didn’t warn me. = )

    • That is exciting for him. Hopefully he will get it. Surgery is definitely an experience. A good one while he gets ready to apply to med school.

      I did warn you. Sometimes when I think about it all, I either think awesome or ugh. Sometimes both simultaneously.

  2. Thought I’d let you know that Eric got the surgery internship! He sent me a picture this morning of him wearing his scrubs, mask, hat, and booties. He is currently going through training and after that will be able to observe and even assist (very minimally) during any kind of surgery except for open heart surgery. He is most interested in trauma surgeries when everything is moving fast and stressful. He does NOT take after me in that way. And definitely not his Dad either (who faints at the sight of blood. Seriously.)

    I couldn’t be more pround or happy for my son! =)

    • Congratulations!
      That is so exciting! Good for him and you!
      I love that he sent you a picture! Very sweet!
      Haha… I love that he did NOT take after either of you. Sometimes I think it comes from elsewhere. I don’t really enjoy surgery, but especially not the stressful ones like trauma surgery. Way out of my comfort zone, though they are cool to watch, just not so cool to me to be involved in.
      I hope he gets to do lots of “assisting.” And more than just holding retractors… Perhaps some cutting or blotting is in his future!

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