During my surgical clerkship, I have come to understand that surgery is a task of endurance. I had a few cases where surgeries lasted more than 6 hours, and while being scrubbed in, it is not easy to use the restroom, have a sip of water, or have a small snack. If you do have to use the restroom urgently, you have to take off your gown and other sterile wear, leave the operation theater, and scrub in all over again. This might cause a bad impression about you to the attending and the other surgical staff, especially if they are all capable of staying scrubbed in for longer periods of time.
Moreover, I am not sure why, but my colleagues have experienced the same, where standing in surgeries make you a little light-headed, and almost hypoglycemic. So, it is very important to eat and drink something filling and nutritious before you start a procedure.
It is also important to be focused on the task and not get side-tracked by other things in your head. It is sometimes very hard to hear the surgeon, through his or her mask. So, when they ask you a question regarding the procedure, it may be hard to hear them, if you don’t respond or ask them to repeat the question, it does not reflect your ability to be sharp-minded and focused.
I have one week left in my surgical clerkship, and I have seen a variety of procedures. This clerkship allowed me to appreciate the specific surgical skills, patience, and endurance needed for the different types of procedures. Most importantly, I learned that a surgeon needs to be very sharp with a quick reaction time, and have immense accuracy with his/her techniques.