Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ann the surgical nurse

A qualified nurse is an indispensable member of a surgical team

Ann was excited to be selected among twenty other candidates to become the head surgical nurse for a renowned heart surgeon of a famous hospital. She worked very hard during the three years of stringent training at the same hospital and graduated as the top student nurse of the class. After several interviews and more post course training, the real litmus test came one morning when she had to begin her career as one indispensable team member of the surgical unit.

                                    Smiling nurses posed for the camera

In the cold operating theatre, the silvery haired surgeon Dr Bertrand declared solemnly that it was going to be a long day; the surgery was expected to last for about 7 hours. He thanked everybody’s presence and cooperation at the theatre and after a short briefing he made the first incision on the chest of the patient, a man in his 50s who suffered a condition of coronary thrombosis. There was complication that the standard angioplasty could not apply; only open heart surgery could remove the blockage of the arteries, all four of them.

                                                 Scene at the O.T.   
 
The surgery went on smoothly as the clock clicked away the minutes and hours, the old surgeon paused for a minute for Ann to wipe his forehead of his sweat. He looked around and was glad that his team of two other assistant surgeons, four nurses, and one anesthetist were all at their best spirit to make this surgery a success. Well after 6 hours into the surgery Dr Bertrand announced that the surgery was about to come to an end and called up Ann to prepare for the final procedure, the closing up of the thorax.


When the surgery takes too long to complete 
                                   
                                 
Suddenly Ann stared at the senior cardiologist and spoke with a determined tone: Doctor, You can’t begin to stitch yet; we’d used 12 pieces of gauze and so far 11 of them had been  removed from the chest cavity of the patient…..


                                   Doctor's instruction for post surgery
                                             care for patient is vital  

Apparently the doctor was not very pleased to be reminded, he retorted: ‘Nonsense! I’d taken out all of them, the surgery took us too long to finish, now give me the stitching tools. Dr Philips, are you done?’ He turned his head towards the anesthetist. ‘Yes, the patient is expected to regain consciousness in one hour.’ came the cautious reply from Dr Philips. ‘No, you can’t proceed to stitch the patient up. I remember very well, we had used exactly twelve pieces of the gauze.’ Ann was obstinately insistent. The tired doctor ignored her and continued to give order: ‘Heed my words, prepare for stitching.’

                                     A nurse is a healthcare professional  
    
Ann showed her prowess in confronting authority; she was almost in tears as she continued her protest: ‘You’re an experienced physician! You can’t possibly do that!’
                                           
                                               A stern looking doctor
                                            
All of a sudden Dr Bertrand broke into a broad smile. He raised his left hand, still wearing the grove stained with blood, opened up his palm to show everybody what he held: a piece of blood soaked gauze. He promptly announced: ‘Ann had undoubtedly qualified to be my assistant in the operating theatre. I’m glad that my search for one is over. Thank you every one!’


    
                             A doctor lit up a cigarrette during a break in China 
                                A real bad example set by a medical personnel  
     
What prompted the old surgeon was not Ann’s outlook, or her charm, or even her dexterity. It was her instinctive, noble ethic and rhetoric of being righteous, unfearing integrity that Dr Bertrand could not ignore. She deserved the honor to gain the post hands down and subsequently won many hearts to her favour amongst the colleagues and the patients at the hospital.

                                       
                                                       Nurses in training
Story by
Alan CY Kok

For those who may be interested,
this book could be beneficial:
http://lpntobsnonline.org/2011/25-essential-reference-books-every-surgical-nurse-should-own/ .

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