Assisting at surgical operations: a practical guide by Comus Whalan

By Comus Whalan

There are numerous very good books on how one can do operations yet there are few or none on how one can support at them, and none written both by way of or for scientific scholars or medical professionals. as a result, the talents that make a professional surgical assistant are tricky to procure. as a rule, they could purely research in a haphazard method, via spending years within the working theater. This booklet describes these abilities in a concise and systematic manner, in surgical procedure commonly, and in ten varied speciality components. even if meant often for clinical-level scientific scholars and junior medical professionals, folks who help at surgical operations, together with basic practitioners, nurse assistants and surgical technologists, also will locate it valuable. no matter if making plans a profession in surgical procedure, or just aiming for top marks in a surgical rotation, there are few higher how you can provoke a physician than by way of skilfully aiding at surgical operations.

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Firstly, you should keep your hands above this area. Secondly, if an instrument slips from the operating table, consideration should be given to replacing it, if it enters this area. Similarly, some parts of a scrubbed person’s surgical gown are not treated as sterile. By custom, only an approximately rectangular area on the front of the gown is regarded as being above microbial suspicion. Imagine a rectangle on your anterior torso, bounded superiorly by a horizontal line running through your mid-sternum, inferiorly by a horizontal line running through your umbilicus, and laterally by your anterior axillary lines.

Scissorgrip, p. 56). Avoid bumping the table and leaning on the patient excessively. Ergonomically, it is most comfortable to have your elbows flexed at about 90° when operating or assisting, and to have a straight, relaxed back. The operating table is normally adjusted to a height that suits the surgeon, which will not necessarily suit you, the assistant. If you are short, and the operating table is too high for you, ask for a step to stand on. These are portable stands of metal or plastic, typically about 10–15 cm high, designed specifically for this purpose.

Dry your hands in a systematic way, using a new area of the hand-towel for each part of the hand and then fore-arm. This is done because your fingertips are considered ‘more sterile’ (if there is such a thing as degrees of sterility) than your elbows. Dry each finger first, then your hands, then your fore-arms down to the elbows, and then discard the towel without bringing it back up to your hands. ■ Gowning Next, put on your gown. The entire gown is sterile, but obviously, once you touch it this is no longer so.

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