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Scrubbing in for Surgery 101

from the May 30, 2011 issue of Connect

Scrubbing in for Surgery 101

For most of us, the only time we see the inside of an operating room is when we’re the patient. That’s why the surgical services team opened its doors to staff, physicians and volunteers to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the kind of surgeries being performed at Women’s College.

Dressed in scrubs and eager to learn, participants from a number of departments took part in the tour. Three learning stations – suturing, laparoscopic surgery and general/orthopedic surgery – were set up to give everyone a chance to try their hand at a surgical technique.

“These stations reflect the types of procedures that are performed at Women’s College on a regular basis,” said Dennise Forde, operating room RN, and one of the leaders of the tour. “Laparoscopic surgery, for example, is critical in an ambulatory setting because it’s minimally invasive, which ultimately results in reduced recovery time.”

The practice stations consisted of training model simulation devices obtained from the University of Toronto’s Surgical Skills Centre – a lab dedicated to learning basic and complex surgical procedures to promote and enhance surgical skill, innovation and research.

The tour, co-led by operating room RN Stephanie Johnson featured a laparoscopic station that tested hand-eye co-ordination by requiring participants to move coloured blocks guided visually by what they saw on a TV monitor. And the orthopedic station required users to identify a tear in a simulated knee.

“It’s one thing to tell people what goes on in an operating room,” added Forde. “We thought it would be more interesting to make it interactive and give everyone a flavour for the kind of procedures we do.”

The event prompted a great turnout, and participants had plenty of positive feedback following the tour.

“I was really excited when I saw the invitation to participate. The capital redevelopment team signed up immediately,” said Jennifer Laurin, project co-ordinator, capital redevelopment. “We happily donned hair – or scalp, in some cases – nets, munched on cookies and tried our hand at stitching a wound.  It was a fun and informative experience from both a personal perspective – I had an ACL reconstruction at WCH in 2008 – as well as a work flow perspective.”


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