musings of an assist

my whole month of october is dedicated to two things: emergency room (ER) duty and operating room (OR) assists. while at the OR as second assist (or rarely as first assist), i have tons of time thinking about other things: e.g., mulling the prospects of my career after one and a half years, wondering what movie or TV show is on HBO, AXN, or CinemaOne tonight, and looking forward to eating a vanilla sundae with cookies & cream and chocolate fudge after scrubbing out.

as student, i have the luxury of sleeping on my own bed when i'm not on duty, which happens every 3 days. in comparison, the amount of time required from surgery residents is quite ridiculous. there was a time when we did a whipple's procedure for an ampullary mass, and the surgery residents that i assisted at the OR were supposed to be post-duty status, but the procedure went well into 3am the next day. one of them called her husband to say, see you nalang in 3 days, and told her spouse to look after their 5-year old son. i feel sorry for her not being able to cuddle her son as often as she's supposed to, but i guess surgeons are tough like that.

aside from eavesdropping, er, accidentally overhearing results of pre-residency and being able to staple the skin, i also thought about doing a survey on medical students who are or who have been assists at the OR, such as:

which of the following best approximates your feeling about being an assist at the OR?
  • gusto kong umaakyat para sa OR at gusto ko pang mag-assist sa next case
  • ayaw ko sana umakyat sa OR kanina, pero since nakascrub-in na, ako na sa next
  • ayoko talagang magscrub-in kung may choice ako [obviously wala]
  • none of the above 
please rank these locations of hospital duty in order of preference:
  • emergency room
  • operating room
  • wards
do you think about surgery-related stuff during assists?
  • yes
  • no 
do you think about NON-surgery-related stuff during assists?
  • yes
  • no
do you intend to train in surgical fields, such as Surg, ORL, ObGyn, Ophtha?
  • yes
  • no
Then, after getting enough responses, I can actually do some multivariate logistic regression, and answer basic questions as to whether our atittude towards OR assists translate to career choices. To take it further, someone can probably do a longitudinal survey and see if such choices are actually realized.

But, of course, instead of doing such tedious stuff, I might be better off sleeping and conserving energy for the next assist.