My bad, I’m just so excited to write about this, my feelings won’t work with my fingers as I type.
I just came back home after doing a superficial thickness skin graft all by myself, no biggie.
I am doing my surgery rotations right now. Two days a week we have OT. As an intern we get to scrub in for most procedures and assist as the surgeons work their magic on big nodular thyroids, strangulated hernias and inflamed appendices. Its really cool. Like I’ve already spoken about this before, I’m loving life as an intern.
We don’t do much of the actual operating work, well obviously one doesn’t just jump into surgeries like that. We just get to “retract” and “suction” and “mop please” a lot. Anybody who is or has ever been an intern will relate to this. But to watch all these surgeries take place at such close range is so cool.
So today’s ot apart from being fascinating for the obvious reasons, will go down in history for me for I did, mind you, I performed, not just assisted a STSG surgery today. The patient has a history of diabetes mellitus and had developed a wound over his right foot. It worsened over a period of few months at which point he decided to come to the hospital.
We took him up for a disarticulation before, to remove his infected toe so that it doesn’t go to gangrene.
And then a week later we posted him again for a second surgery. These patients come to the opd with such bad wounds and we clean them and close them up and send them back looking so good. My uncle tells me this is why doctors play such an important role in society.
We are able to make a difference in someone’s life at such a basic level. Everyday this last week we have done his wound dressing and followed up on the reports as to what (if any) bacteria was growing in that wound, and change the antibiotics according to the sensitivity of the said microbe.
It is such a privileged position to be in. Every night I go to bed knowing I’ve mattered to someone. It’s such a humbling experience, this privilege.
When I started surgery rotations, I was very laidback and oh so weary. I was of the opinion that I’m never going to take up surgery as a career option. So why should I spend time learning all the basic skills we are supposed to as a surgical intern. And with this attitude I spent my first week. Until one day, my post graduate, she asked me what I wanted to do after internship.
Prompt came the reply, “Not surgery, ma’am”. She smiled, and said to me, “Yeah that’s cool. But tomorrow when you’re in a rural setup or if you’re the only doctor on call and a patient comes to you with a laceration on his forehead or needs a catheter to be inserted on account of being unable to pass urine, what are you going to do? This privilege you talk about, if you cannot do what basic things need to be done for your patient, what purpose are you going to serve?”
Looking back I think that conversation played a very pivotal role in changing my predilection towards surgery. And just internship in general I think.
Being an intern is so much more than just doing paperwork and typing summaries. Do not mistake me and think its unimportant. Getting paperwork right to the T is of utmost importance. And so is learning to suture and to dress a wound and catheterize a bladder, to name a few.
I’ve learnt so many a basic life skills since that day. And to add to the list, I just did a skin graft. Not like I’ll ever be doing a grafting procedure in a rural setup, and definitely not without my PG and the surgeon looking over me and yelling “Yes yes good (definitely not) Crick, good graft come on keep going.”
This is simply going to be the highlight of my internship. For now atleast.