Rounds: Late Night Scrub

Sun, Oct 16

It is late. All is quiet. A kiss goodnight. No sooner our eyes close, Laurie’s BlackBerry vibrates on her nightstand. “Sorry,” she says softly. It is the hospital. After a brief chat, Laurie finishes with “give me twenty minutes.” Andrea pops in her head into our room saying she needs to go in also.

Almost midnight, it is very busy on the surgical floor. It is not often to find this kind of activity at this hour.

techs setting up a surgical suite

after assisting on one surgery, Shelley scrubbing in to assist Laurie on her trauma case

Mon, Oct 17

The midnight hour comes without much notice.

Before scrubbing in, Laurie checked on her patient once again in pre-op followed by another short meeting with the patient’s family. Mostly to reassure and strengthen their hope. Returning to the prep room, the imaging scans and treatment notes are thoroughly reviewed again before scrubbing in.

Laurie and Dr. Mike talk what they see in the imaging scans for her patient

Around 12:20 am, the operation begins. Laurie’s patient, a priority one case. While urgency is attached, her priority is not to rush a procedure or complete it within a certain amount of time. Laurie would rather complete a procedure done correctly the first time. Deliberate and methodical. Though Laurie estimated the operation would take three hours, the unforeseen lengthened it to nearly 4½ hours to complete.

Andrea sends a good morning text to the girls

Sleep? With rounds in a couple of hours, Laurie and Andrea review the overnight notes on their other patients. After rounds, a short catnap for both before continuing their day.

a spent resident: Dr. Hailey came in to watch Laurie operate

Another day, and night, in the life.

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6 thoughts on “Rounds: Late Night Scrub

    • And, to think I wanted to become a surgeon too. 🙂

      Fortunately, the marathon sessions don’t happen too often. When they do, it’s all about knowing how to catnap.

  1. Wow, I found your story both powerful and frightening David. Powerful because a life hangs in the balance. Frightening because I know how ineffective I’d be if I were awakened during the night after very little sleep. I can only be amazed at their commitment and skill.

    • Both Laurie and Andrea had zero sleep when they received the calls to come in. They are amazing women in being able to work with exacting skill. They say it is a calling, and it has to be with their level of dedication.

      I went with them because the parking garage has dark areas while fully lit.

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