I was really nervous about being in a different environment and I didn't know what to expect.
The competency document was much shorter this time, with just one initial and end interview with your allocated preceptor, in which you have to discuss your learning objectives for the placement.
The theater is divided in various theater rooms and a recovery room.
Every room of the ward has a page with the daily schedule of the surgeries happening for all the rooms.
My first day was in recovery room and the main duties are:
During the next days I followed a registered nurse in her daily routine in different theater rooms.
There are different kind of nurses in the theater rooms: circulating nurse, scrub nurse and anesthetic nurse.
The scrub nurse will help the surgeon during the surgery, so she will wear the sterile scrub and will be counting all the sterile instruments opened at the beginning until the end of the procedure. She will also set the different trolleys and pass all the asked instruments to the surgeon and set the needles for the suturing. At the end she will bring the instruments to sterilize.
The circulating nurse will help the scrub nurse bringing instruments needed during the operation, opening the instruments over the sterile trolley, signing and completing the paperwork.
The anesthetic nurse will help the anesthetist from setting the airway ventilation, to placing the blood pressure cuff, heart monitor stickers and preparing the fluids needed.
The other people present are the main surgeon, the second surgeon helping the first, main anesthetic doctor, anesthetic doctor helping the first.
What I learnt from them and what I could do:
The lunch room: everybody from cleaners, midwives, nurses to the doctors were having lunch together and talking friendly between each other and with me.
The atmosphere were so nice too, music in every room and nurses always smiley and helpful made me feel home everyday.
I would definitely like to work in theater!
Bliss of the placement: a mother I spoke with and tried to make feel better and less scared before her cesarian section asking for me, saying I made the difference for her, being the only one holding her hand during the spinal anesthesia!
Why it was useful for me: I think it's a great experience for being prepared of receiving postnatal mothers after a cesarian section, you know what they went through and what it needs to be prioritized in their care.
Advice for you going to theater for your next placement: ask to anyone in the room about everything!!! the more curious the more you will love it and learn a lot. YouTube search the surgeries and document yourself about them. Check daily schedule of surgeries and write them down, ask to follow the most interesting ones!
Gloria Coccoli, midwifery student in Dublin, but born in love with life in the land of sun, Sicily, in 1995
Mother of a baby with wings