Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A New View on Outpatient Surgery

A literal one…

Driving down one of my favorite avenues in the area – one that supplies me with lots of blog fodder, I came across this.  

THIS – is someone having surgery.

SURGERY – I can see them having surgery!

Now it took me a few minutes to figure out what I was looking at.  Sitting at a red light, I look over and see a window open at what I later figure out to be a surgical outpatient clinic.  The rest of the windows were all shaded, but this one was open and for some reason I think it’s odd, so I look at it.  

Then I see people flitting around inside in full surgical scrub gear, masks, hats, gloves – etc.

At first I think, this is a dental office.  Then as I look at the three people in full gear, I think – this looks more like a surgery.   I look harder, there is a machine that someone is standing by on the left side of the window (can’t see in these pics, but from the other direction on the road you could) and the other two are next to a gurney.  A GURNEY!  

There is someone laying on the gurney, you can see them in the second pane up from the bottom on the right – OMG – someone IS having surgery.  Two panes up you can see a surgical persons hat/head.  Then I figure the person by the machine is an anesthesiologist.

The light changes, I need a picture, why didn’t I take a picture?  Because it took me the whole time at the light to figure out what I was looking at.  I turn around, but I can’t catch the light again to get a good shot.

That is why these pictures are hard to see, I was in a moving car trying to get the shot.  One handed, arm out the window, randomly clicking – must focus on the road, couldn’t really focus on the shot, there was no way I was going to park and get out of the car, but I think I did ok, considering.  

Therefore I now (and I feel you should too), have new questions to ask ask the surgeon if you ever find yourself in a position of needing outpatient work outside of a hospital.  Do you do surgery in public?  Were you once a field medic or in a mobile unit like those in MASH?  Do you prefer to do your surgeries in the natural daylight or under a medical association approved lamp?  

I remember my dad telling me that the surgical units used to be on top floors of hospitals, under roofs of windows, to allow natural daylight in to help with the lighting.  But that was a very long time ago – anyone doing surgeries today cannot possible still be an active surgeon – can they?  My, they would be very old...

Therefore – this is my gift to you – please write down the above questions and then ask your surgeon - Have you ever done an operation in a clinic on Mack Avenue?