Work in Operation Theatre:
When graduating and choosing a workplace, we face a dilemma where I want to work. When considering working in an Operation Theatre, you have to be aware that in a practical sense studies do not prepare us for such a role.
People working in wards certainly have a lot of knowledge to learn, but with experience, they can draw on years of study and numerous internships, while few students have experience in assisting in surgery in Operation Theatre.
If you want to be an instrumentalist, be aware that graduation is just the beginning, now you will have years of “post-graduate studies”. Rummaging in textbooks for anatomy, surgery, science of naming, application, and assembly of tools.
If your workplace in Operation Theatre is a multi-profile block, you will have to acquire knowledge in the field of each field of knowledge represented in it, from neurosurgery to ENT. A lot of work;).
In addition to substantive matters, you must also be aware that you need appropriate characterological predispositions to work in Operation Theatre. I consider the most important: the ability to concentrate attention for hours, quick decision making, organizational skills, self-control.
In addition, humility and the ability to admit mistakes are valuable. Certainly, initially, there will be a lot of them;).
Mentoring is the main Didactic:
As I mentioned above, you do not gain experience as an instrumentalist during studies, therefore mentoring is the main didactic method of students. Sometimes there is one person appointed to learn a new team member who has proven himself in this role before, more often novices learn a bit from everyone.
That is why it is worth making a good impression on friends because they are more likely to share knowledge.
Everyone will guess what we don’t know:
When we see that someone is less willing to provide information, let us initiate a conversation ourselves and do not be afraid to ask questions. Let us not be discouraged by anyone, because “he tells us nothing”, is rarely an expression of ill will.
Just for people who work for a long time, everything seems obvious and it is difficult for them to imagine that someone can very simple things do not know.
Let’s not be ashamed of our ignorance, but remember that not everyone will guess what we don’t know. When, despite our questions, we are not willing to answer, let’s think if we are asking at the right time.
When the instrumentalist is busy, for example, counting swabs, or preparing for surgery, our questions may disorganize her work and it is worth choosing the right moment. We can write a list of questions and after the operations ask for a departmental conversation or a colleague who has a break from work.
Preparation for the first day of work in Operation Theatre:
When starting work, remember about a good impression. We always come to work neatly dressed and on time. If they don’t want to, we have to accept that work on the block requires a different “dress code”.
Dressing up, we leave all “personal” clothes in the locker room. If we need to wear an additional T-shirt under the surgical sweatshirt, it must be a t-shirt designed only to be worn at the Operation Theatre.
We are not allowed to go home in it. Starting work, if the employer does not provide us with footwear, you should stock up on two pairs of shoes. One for the block, the other for walking around the hospital.
The nails should be cut short and not painted. Although epidemiology allows painted nails, as long as the nail polish is not chipped off, it is better not to expose your bosses in the first days of work, when we do not know their preferences.
Restrictive Operation Theatre Block Managers:
The Operation Theatre block also has the principle of “no jewelry on your hands”. Some more restrictive block managers also prohibit wearing pendants and “dangling” large earrings. In addition to aesthetic reasons, it is also not convenient.
It’s harder to hide them under the hat and the straps of the mask get entangled in them etc. As for makeup, there are no contraindications or preferences. Dear Colleagues, remember, however, that a large amount of powders, foundations, and lip glosses remain on the operating mask.
Not only does the mask look unsightly, but also ourselves when we have tattered and inelegant makeup. In this case, it is better to reduce its number during working hours.
Emotions and Rush:
Maybe this advice will be trivial, but entering and leaving the Operation Theatre do not forget to say “good morning” and “goodbye”. In the crowds of emotions and rush, we can forget about it, and yet we do not want to alienate anyone. It is generally accepted to each other for working together after work.
First Work Week:
During the first week of work, we should learn the basics of Operation Theatre behavior. When entering the operating room you should ALWAYS wear a cap on your head, whether it’s during surgery or just when we’re going to add something.
We put the mask on when the surgery is in progress or when the tools are already opened from the sterile packaging. This also applies to open packages for spinal anesthesia and central puncture.
From practical skills, we learn surgical hand washing according to the scheme adopted on the Operation Theatre, sterile donning of apron and gloves, and opening packages with tools.
We get to know the routine of the working day and learn to be flight-dirty instrumentalists. In free time, it is well received if we start to familiarize ourselves with the procedures in force in the Operation Theatre.
Each Operation Theatre and branch should have, a binder always available to every employee, where all the procedures are in place. This is very useful for new employees because the procedures contain answers to many questions that may arise from our relationship with work.
One of the most important procedures is the procedure for hygienic and surgical hand washing. Another is packaging the material for sterilization, storing sterile material and preparing solutions for disinfecting tools.
The first two weeks of work.
During this time, we should familiarize ourselves with the documentation that appears in the Operation Theatre and be able to fill it.
The instrumentalist learns many concepts related to surgery at the beginning of her work, e.g. to distinguish between planned and “acute” surgery, dirty from clean surgery, and in which room carried out.
Usually, on small blocks, one duty room is designated, where acute procedures are performed. The rest of the rooms are intended for planned procedures and should remain ready for planned work.
When working on a multi-profile Operation Theatre with a large number of rooms, there are more rooms designated as duty rooms. They are usually divided by specialties, e.g. a room in which scheduled soft surgery procedures take place, during the on-call time it is designated for acute soft surgery procedures due to that the equipment needed for this type of fugitives is arranged on it and does not need to be transported from another room.
Cesarean Section Steps:
There is also a permanent room for acute orthopedic fugitives – because often there is access to the C-arm (X-ray apparatus), which usually stands in a fixed place. A special case is a Caesarean section, which is always ready for the so-called Iodine cuts or cito cuts.
In this room, there is always a package with tools and underwear, and all the things needed to carry out the operation without wasting time preparing for the operation.
Learn About the Tools:
After getting acquainted with the organization of the Operation Theatre and acquiring the basics of instrumental work, it’s time to learn about the tools. It’s not as scary as it seems. \
You should master the “official” name of the tool and its “common” name used on the Operation Theatre. For example, the official name: “Mikulicz forceps”, the common name “stick” “bent”.
In the naming of tools, colleagues from the Operation Theatre are of great help, they explain functions and reveal common names. The source of knowledge can also be catalogs of medical companies that offer tools.
The catalog contains the name and photos, and also prioritizes in terms of functions. Each block manager has several encyclopedia catalogs with tools. Ask if they can make them available for learning. Personally, these catalogs helped me a lot.
Preparing The, Surgical Instruments. In the first month, you watch and learn to lay tools on the table. It is a very individual matter and it depends on what rules the friends use, usually, all instrumentalists use a similar arrangement of tools in a given Operation Theatre.
You must learn it. This is due to the fact that in the event of a change at the operating table, you need to quickly and efficiently understand the layout of the table and the number of tools. The arrangement of the tools also involves placing them at the table.
Depending on which procedure is carried out, the instrumentalist must decide where to set herself so that she can work comfortably and safely. During abdominal procedures, the instrumentalist usually stands next to the assistant, opposite the operator. When operating on limbs can stand between surgeons.
Usually, within the first month in Operation Theatre block, the instrumentalist begins to assist in smaller and short operations. She should learn the rules, choose surgical sutures, apply blades to the pen holders and choose them, and know how to choose the tools for surgery.
As for sutures and tools, the principle is the same, we take into account in what part of the body the surgery will be performed. Depending on whether it is a small tissue and a small wound, whether many structures are affected and the wound will be large.
We prepare small-delicate tools and seams with small needles for minor procedures. For large procedures, the tools must be long and larger, the same applies to needles in the seams.
Acquiring the Above Skills
In parallel to acquiring the above skills, you need to know the course of surgery and acquire skills to use medical equipment: coagulation, mammal, laparoscopic apparatus. Based on the working day routine in Operation Theatre block, we should be able to plan our work, i.e. check the available operating material, be able to assess whether it is sufficient for the entire working day, or report its demand (e.g. when gloves or swabs are missing).
Pretty soon we need to be able to assess the preparation of the operating room for the surgery – whether it is properly cleaned, whether all equipment is functional, etc.