Monday 18th June 08:45 Monday morning and we headed to theatres again. We were definitely becoming more comfortable in the environment and were once again recognised by some of the theatre staff. We opted to watch an operation that we had seen last week because it was just about to commence and the staff were happy for us to be there.
The same surgeon was performing the surgery, however the anaesthetic and nursing team were different. Once again the team were intrigued to learn what we were researching. One of the nurses described to us the importance of predicting what will happen next in order to be one step ahead the whole time.
After the operation had finished we went to look for another occupied theatre. An operation was already in progress and we weren’t sure if we should enter or not. Just at that moment one of the nurses we had met last week came out of the theatre and immediately recognised us. She asked how we were and then invited us to come and watch the procedure which was an esophagectomy.
We were told the procedure could take anything between four to eleven hours. The scrub nurse advised that she would swap half way with someone if it were the latter time. The circulating nurse operated the handle light cameras for us and gave me a quick introduction to how they work. It was useful for us to know this for when we start our own filming.
An interesting part today was when a medical student entered the theatre. The consultant surgeon asked him to ‘scrub up’. He was taking his time getting scrubbed up and the consultant surgeon kept looking back to see where the student was. At one point the student asked if I could help him and when I went to tie his gown it became apparent that it was too small. He also pulled the cord apart before giving it to me which meant I was unable to tie his gown for him. He then confessed that he hadn’t done this for a long time and was a bit out of practice. I think nerves may have also played a part.
I helped him to finish gowning and then he headed into the theatres. The consultant surgeon didn’t acknowledge him at first and the medical student kept looking at his hands awkwardly. Eventually the scrub nurse advised the consultant that the medical student was behind him and he turned to him and advised him to move into a better position. The whole time we were there the student appeared uncomfortable in his surroundings.
Due to the length of the procedure, myself and Terhi opted to leave at lunch time and said our goodbyes.