Wednesday, 24 June 2009

It's nice to have an audience

It’s lovely outside isn’t it? I think we’ve already had more sunny days so far this summer than we did in the whole of last summer. Or the summer before, come to think of it. I’ve been away on holiday and I have to say that it’s been a bit of a struggle to motivate myself and to get back into “work mode” this week.

I’m coming up to the end of my second year of anaesthetics and I must say that my initial concerns about working in the specialty have proved unfounded. Every day I’m at work, I find something new that makes me happy.

For example, today I was working with Dr Burrows for the first time. Dr Burrows has a reputation for being a curmudgeon. He has very high standards and if you happen to say or do anything dumb in his presence, he’ll certainly let you know about it. I guess you could say that he’s quite old school in that way. Rumours say that he’s been stopped from teaching medical students because he kept making them cry.

Anyway, this morning’s patient was in for major surgery and required invasive monitoring. Dr Burrows asked me which parts did I want to do and I immediately said “The central line and the epidural” and went off to get scrubbed up. I’ve put in a fair few central lines and epidurals in the last couple of years and I’m at the stage where I feel just about confident that I can get them into most people.

I set everything up and under Dr Burrows’ punishing stare, I go about placing the epidural and central line. They both go in beautifully first time with no mess and no fussing. Later on Martin, the ODP, says to me “Dr Burrows was quite impressed with you, you know. He said that you were very slick and very professional.”

I smile to myself before replying, “It’s a shame they don’t always go in that easily. You watch, the next one I do will probably be a disaster, but it’s nice to know that sometimes, things go really smoothly.”

And when you do things really well, it’s nice to have an audience.