Friday, April 16, 2010

More or less anaesthetics

I have a “Pain and Anaesthetics” tutorial scheduled, which sounds pretty serious, but my classmate assures me that it’s just a regular theatre session with the anaesthetist. So I turn up a little before 8.30am, change into scrubs and wander out to theatre to find the nurses frantically drying condensation off the walls, windows, equipment ... everything. The air-conditioner has mysteriously broken overnight and the operating theatre has turned into a warm humid cave.

The doctors haven’t arrived yet, and eventually the girls make an executive decision to move theatre into our trauma room, and we wheel trolleys of sterile equipment, linen etc down the hall. Our hospital is not exactly state-of-the-art, but trauma room, as one nurse put it, is “like operating in the third world”. There is barely room to fit all of the equipment, and we are claustrophobic before the list even starts.

The GP surgeon eventually turns up a little after 9am, and speaks to me briefly before walking off in an unknown direction. One nurse tells me not to worry, “you’ll never work him out”, but I tell her it’s ok - I’m with the anaesthetist today. And that’s when she informs me that there will be no anaesthetist for today’s list, and suggests that I run away now.

But it’s too late. I’ve already been seen.

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