As nurses and student nurses we get used to being put in some quite extraordinary places.
There are times when we can become almost immune to these unique situations. However, my first real experience in an operating theatre was certainly one of the most exceptional things I have done as a student nurse.
From the strange process of scrubbing up to get myself completely clean to the preparations made on the unconscious patient - everything was so far removed from what I was used to.
I was worried how I would react. I like to think I’m fine around blood and open wounds but I’ve never been in a situation where a wound has been created.
What also concerned me is that I couldn’t take a back seat.
I was one of the few people that could interact with the patient and surgeon. I would be expected to help out and to pass instruments. This made me feel a little bit of pressure but I was also extremely grateful.
Having spoken to other students there is a risk that all you get to see is the back of a surgeon or a nurse peering into a cavity. I was going to get the opportunity to get a fantastic view at an important and varied part of nursing and I didn’t want to waste it.
The operation went on for about 30 minutes and we were repairing a hernia on a middle-aged man. It wasn’t the most extensive of surgeries but it was a great introduction and as I have another four weeks left on this elective surgical placement I’m looking forward to many more experiences in the operating theatre.
I’ll leave you with the advice given to me by the nurse in charge: “Make sure you have some breakfast and if you’re going to faint make sure you faint away from the patient.”
How did you find your first time in an operating theatre?
If you are yet to go, what concerns you most or what are you most looking forward to the most?