Oooohh I LOVE my new job. It’s awesome! I really feel I made the right choice when I decided to switch to a career in anaesthetics after a couple of years of working as general medicine.
Today was my first day in theatres. Yesterday, I was debating how long it would be before they let me loose with the anaesthetic drugs. The answer was – straight away. On my first morning, I was working on the urology list. I saw all the patients beforehand to explain what the anaesthetic involved and what they’d expect to see and feel when they woke up after the operation.
I got to give the patients their painkiller and then the anaesthetic drugs via the I.V. line I’d put in and watch them for the next 10-20 seconds as they drifted off to sleep. I then had to secure their airway and then they were good to go and the surgeons could do what they had to do.
My job was to look after the patient on the table and, after coming from gen med, it was a bit of a revelation to have all the monitoring right in front of me. I could see exactly what the heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide levels etc were doing and I could correct things immediately if the parameters started drifting out of the “comfort zone.”
All the while I had the consultant anaesthetist next to me, telling me what to do and teaching me how and why certain things are done. In my last job, I didn’t think I was learning very much. My job was looking after the patients on the ward, and because of the sheer numbers of people I was looking after, it didn’t leave much time to study and learn the details of the conditions that I was treating. I found that quite frustrating because, I think I’m a bit of a geek at heart and actually enjoy learning stuff.
My new job is the opposite. Basically, I’m getting paid to learn and it’s great. I actually feel a bit like a medical student again.