The People Behind the Mask – OR
Authored by Leslie Chambers, Patient Care Manager
Long before the world began to wear masks, behind the doors of the operating room stood a team, wearing masks. The surgical mask used to identify the Operating Room staff and Physicians, but perhaps now it is harder to distinguish us from the rest of the health care team. We want you to know the team behind the mask.
This is often the view that patients’ see and the eyes tell the story of knowledge, expertise, training, trust, kindness, compassion and professionalism.
The OR team at SJGH can repair a broken ankle, remove your appendix or gallbladder, provide surgical care to those with breast cancer without the radical procedures of the past, perform a scope of your stomach, bowel, lungs and bladder. We are also there to deliver and welcome new life into the world. We perform over 100 different surgical procedures here at SJGHEL, under the specialties of: General Surgery, Vascular, Orthopedics, Endoscopy, ENT, Gynecology and Ophthalmology. The best part is we work with the most dedicated and talented group of Physicians- Dr. Long, Dr. Stirling, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Morris, and Dr. Khan.
However, surgery isn’t all we do. We are highly active in education of medical students, nursing students and newly hired staff that require skills or experiences that they may not achieve in their regular units of work. We became leaders to our peers for putting on and removing PPE. Also helping whenever and wherever we are needed.
Did you know that when the pandemic started, we became the intubation team for COVID-19? The incredible skill and leadership of Dr. Chi and Dr. Spencer, who worked closely with the OR team assisted critically Ill patients in our ER and ICU. The intubation team dresses in full Personal Protective Equipment and often looked like they were out of a movie. However, these situations and care they provided were far from a movie story. At the onset of the Pandemic, intubation was considered one of the procedures that carried the most risk. We needed teams that could work well and safely with each other. The OR is a small intimate team that does this work every day. It was a natural evolution to have them assist our critical care departments in this new care need brought on by the pandemic. While the pandemic is well past its second anniversary, this team continues to function in this role as it has continued to enhance the care of these critically ill patients.
Most importantly we are a family, that often spend more time with each other than our own families. We rely on each other and work hard to serve our patients. But we cannot do it alone.
We do not work in isolation and we cannot do our work without the incredible work of our partners. Stay tuned for the next features of ACC, Specialist Services, Medical Device Reprocessing Department and Housekeeping.