Wednesday, March 01, 2006

NPs Save Lives Goes Under the Knife

Hello to all from your favorite nurse practitioner student! I survived my knee surgery! I knew that things would be fine but it is a scary thing to go under anesthesia.

I got to the hospital around 10:00 and went to the lab for my PT and PTT draws. The nurse in charge of me got me settled in and did my assessment. She then started my IV using bacteriostatic saline which works like Lidocaine without the potential for allergic reactions. That is some cool stuff!! I will be asking our hospital if we can use it for our IV sticks on the floor. Starting IVs really suck when you have to hurt people! I'm really good at it, but always feel sorry for those patients who have bad veins.

My husband and I waited for approximately two hours before I was ready for surgery. That was my only complaint. The waiting to go under the knife can be very nervewracking. I brought a book to read to take my mind off the whole thing. I wasn't too nervous but my husband was getting a little antsy. His back was killing him due to his degenerative disc disease.

The anesthesiologist came by and asked me all the appropriate questions and asked if I had any questions for him. I told him that I didn't have any questions but that I did have one request. He said, "What's that?" I said "Well.. I want to wake up!" He laughed and thought it was funny. He said "that's the plan!" "You nurses are the worst patients! You know enough to be dangerous!"

The last thing I remember was having oxygen placed onto my face as they strapped my arms down. They were very calm and soothing. After that, I was being awakened in the recovery room..

My doctor came out and told me that he didn't put any cadaver parts in my knee but that he just left the peripheral menisci in place and took everything else out.. He said that this surgery should feel much better than the last one. So far so good!! I see him again in a week and I start physical therapy afterwards.

Anytime a medical professional can be on the "other side of medicine", it makes us more empathic. Unfortunately, I keep finding myself on the "other side" a little too often for my taste. And for those who thought I was faking my injury, you can all kiss my missing mensicus!!

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