The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Anaesthesia Continues to Suck...

There is so much I hate about anesthesia, I'm really going to have a rough time keeping this brief. Here's what I'm particularly hating today, though.

Anaesthesia is an art masquerading as a science. Sure, it's all based in hard-core physiology and pharmacology (which, of course, is what I get pimped on incessantly)... but every anesthesiologist does it a bit differently. There's a general recipe for induction of anaesthesia-- One part narcotic, one part sedative-hypnotic and in most cases, one part paralytic. There are different choices for each, the most common cocktail being Sufentanyl, Propofol and Rocuronium (isn't that a cool name for a drug?). But some use Fentanyl instead of Suf, some use Succinylcholine instead of Roc... I won't bore you with any more details, but you get the gist. But this goes WAY too far.

Monday with Staff Anesthesiologist #1:
Dr. Couz secures breathing tube to the patient's upper jaw with paper tape.
SA#1: What the hell are you doing? That stuff is crap! Who the hell told you to use paper tape?
Dr. Couz: Um, sorry. What would you like me to use?
SA#1: The pink tape, obviously. Where did YOU go to medical school?

Tuesday with Staff Anesthesiologist #2:
Dr. Couz secures breathing tube to the patient's upper jaw with the pink tape.
SA#2: What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to rip off ALL of the patient's skin? And who the hell told you to tape to the upper jaw? The tube moves with the LOWER jaw!
Dr. Couz: Um, sorry. I'll use the paper tape.
SA#2: That stuff is crap too. Use this. (SA#2 inexplicably produces a roll of seemingly identical tape from his pocket and secures the tube to the lower jaw)

Wednesday with Staff Anesthesiologist #3:
Dr. Couz secures breathing tube to patient's lower jaw with used chewing gum.
SA#3: What the hell are you doing?

You can see where this is going.

I don't entirely understand why people are motivated to go into anaesthesia. You draw up some drugs, shoot them into people, and sit around for the rest of the surgery doing a crossword puzzle and hoping to hell that nothing goes wrong. I'm amazed that more anesthesiologists aren't raving drug addicts. Three weeks of anaesthesia and I'M tempted to stick a random syringe into my vein just to keep myself awake. Sigh.

Can I do some emergency medicine now? My short attention span can't take much more of this.



Blogger Jonathan said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog...I'm still a little intrigued how people find it.

As one going into anesthesia, I couldn't help but laugh at this post! I understand your frustration. One thing I like about the specialty (especially compared to Emergency Medicine) is that you have the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time--the patient. No trying to cram in rounds and note-writing before attending rounds and in the midst of calls to the social worker and questions from nurses, etc.

I enjoy your writing, and it's nice to see another intern's story

8:57 PM

Blogger LT said...

Nice writting. So now u know that all anaesthetist has OCD, try to live with it till the end of the posting! :)

I still love Anest and is one of the few who is less OCD! :) Cheers!

11:51 AM

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Haha, this post is sort of hilarious, especially the chewing gum thing.

I really enjoy your style of writing :)

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