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Running Head: SURGERY OBSERVATION EXPERIENCE 1

Surgery Observation Experience

Ashley Wolanzyk

Youngstown State University


SURGERY OBSERVATION EXPERIENCE 2

Surgery Observation Experience

Last week at clinical I observed the operating rooms in the surgical unit. I will be

discussing the first patient I observed for this summary and review. The patient was an older

male who came to St. Elizabeth Main Hospital for a robotic laparoscopy surgery. The patient had

been experiencing complications as a result of a previous procedure. A laparoscopy, is a surgical

diagnostic procedure used to examine inside the abdomen. Laparoscopies are generally low-risk

and minimally invasive.

Laparoscopy uses a laparoscope to look at the abdominal organs. A laparoscope is a long

tube with a light and camera on the end. The instrument is inserted through a very small incision

in the abdominal wall. The laparoscope is moved around inside the patient’s body so that the

doctor can see inside without having to open the patient up. The camera connects to a monitor

that allows the doctor to see. Laparoscopy also allows doctors to take biopsy samples from inside

the patient’s body. A laparoscopy is usually performed to detect the cause of abdominal pain and

to help doctors make diagnoses.

To prepare for a laparoscopy, doctors usually have the patient discontinue any

medications that affect blood clotting such as anticoagulants or aspirin. This is so that the patient

will not excessively bleed when the incision is made during the procedure. Before the procedure,

doctors may order blood tests, urinalysis, EKG, X-ray, or imaging tests such as ultrasound, cat

scan, or MRI. These preparations steps allow the doctor better visibility of what to expect during

the procedure. Tests run prior to laparoscopies allow better effectiveness for the procedure.

When the patient arrives for the procedure, an IV will be started if the patient does not already

have established IV access. The patient is then administered a pain reliever and a sedative to
SURGERY OBSERVATION EXPERIENCE 3

prepare for surgery. The patient is taken into the operating room where they are then positioned,

attached to monitors, cleaned, and set up under a sterile operating field.

I observed two scrub nurses, a circulating nurse, an anesthesiologist, and a physician

during this procedure. The nurses assisted the physician with the scope and the procedure itself.

They ensured the sterile fields were maintained, and helped each other and the physician dress in

their sterile gowns and gloves. The circulating nurse was labeling biopsies, handling paperwork,

and mainly assisting/caring for and monitoring the patient. The communication between the

nurses and physician was very clear and informative. They moved together fluently and

efficiently as a true surgical team. The communication between the nurses was also exemplary.

The nurses collaborated and worked well together.

The circulating nurse was focused on patient safety before, during, and after the

procedure. She put the bed rails up when the patient was transferred. She placed pillows and

foam underneath the patient and positioned him in the most comfortable way allowed for the

procedure. It was paramount to have the patient strapped down during this procedure. She

ensured that the IV, oxygen, drains, and other monitor lines were not entangled when the patient

was being moved and positioned. She constantly monitored patient vitals and assessed him for

any changes throughout the procedure. The nurse acted as a patient advocate by ensuring patient

privacy. At one instance, another nurse went to move the patient and he became completely

exposed beneath the waist. The nurse advocated for the patient by going over and adjusting the

blankets/sheet to recover him and ensure patient privacy.