You know that saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat?” That is so very true for anesthesia. As a student, you are guided by different providers on a daily basis. There are many correct ways to provide anesthesia. But the MOST correct way is whatever the provider of the day tells you to do.
In all fairness, they are obviously way more experienced and competent anesthesia providers than we are. That being said, it is still very frustrating to be taught a completely different technique on a daily basis. I have even had the same provider tell me the very technique that they just showed me is incorrect.
It is baffling at times. But we are still new enough as anesthesia providers that we don’t know what we like or what works for us or what our preference is eventually going to be. Being a student is the perfect time to figure that out. Try as many new things as you can, while you have an experienced person to help you work through it. Experiment with as many different medications and equipment as you can!
The image above is taken from MedicalMissionHallOfFameFoundation.org, and is not associated with the SRNA blogger.
On that note, I’m going on a mission trip. It has actually been pretty short notice, so my mind still hasn’t wrapped around it completely. I have always wanted to go on a mission trip, and I’m so excited for my first one! My best friend/classmate and I are going together, which will make it that much better!
We are going to be helping a very poor community in a far off land to receive surgeries that they have been waiting years and years for. It is going to be amazing!!
I am also VERY nervous. Anesthesia is very different in a third world country where they do not have the comforts that we are used to. For instance, the anesthesia machine is completely mechanical with no electrical components. The electricity where we are going is spotty at best. Many supplies that we consider reusable here are simply wiped down and called clean there. Anesthesia circuits (one time use in US) are used for a week straight.
They also use spinal anesthesia much more there, as they do not have the monitoring to safely administer general anesthesia on a regular basis. We will be bringing A LOT of supplies and equipment with us, because there just isn’t any there. Vitamins cost more than antibiotics in this country. There is no such thing as preventative medicine.
Surprisingly though, patients are relatively healthy. I’m excited to learn yet another side of anesthesia, and be able to provide much needed care to those in need in the process. I’ll report back!