Tuesday, July 07, 2009

All in the head

I had a patient who went to surgery one morning. I went to her room in the afternoon to check on her.
I tried to wake her up but she was still sleeping, recovering from the heavy effect of anaesthesia.

I don't like to examine patients without them being awake, but since her surgery was in the head, I looked around. I had to take her glasses off then looked around the head and found a small wound dressing. It looked a little old to me, so I went to the nursing station to find her nurse.

"Did Jessica go to surgery today to remove her VP shunt?", I asked the nurse.
"Yes, she got back a couple of hours ago"
"Her wound looks a little old though!"
"hmm, I don't think you're allowed to look at the wound, I have strict orders to keep it covered for today"
"Ok, well it was not covered very well...."

Jessica was in room 220. However the nurse took me to room 232, and indeed Jessica was sitting there, awake and talking.

I pulled the nurse out of the room immediately, and asked her, "I thought Jessica was in room 220!"
"Yes she was, but after the surgery we moved her to 232"
"So who's in 220?"
"Adam, the one with the head injury. Just transferred from the ICU"
"Uhm OK...."
The nurses started smiling, said, "did you think he was Jessica?"
"Well they're both blond... and with the glasses I couldn't tell"

There's a good reason I didn't choose to become a surgeon. It would have sucked to amputate the wrong leg, or open up the head of the wrong patient, wouldn't have felt right....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes... Risky speciality... But, financially speaking, surgery generates a repectful amount of money!