Today’s blog post is coming to you from me, Stephanie, the instigator of this adventure. Tom basically fell into bed after dinner tonight because having very important discussions with patients about the intricate details of surgery and the associated risks and benefits in a language other than your own is mentally exhausting and actually physically hurts your brain. We had both clinic and surgery today and every single patient was both kind and grateful. Every. Single. One.

The ability to speak English to one another while preparing for and doing cases is a major relief. We are a team of three- Tom (surgeon), myself (PA), and Shirley (world’s best scrub tech). The three of us have worked together doing hand surgery for many years so that part is dead easy. Because we are a well-oiled machine, we are able to do almost any minor hand surgery start to finish with just the three of us.

Tom is usually finishing up with the previous patient. I begin to move the furniture as Shirley ventures to the OR to retrieve the instruments, supplies, and lighting that we require. Next, we open the sterile instruments onto our borrowed mayo stand and organize them. I retrieve the patient and administer the necessary local anesthesia. Next, between Shirley and myself, one of us preps the patient while the other one scrubs in to the case. Once Tom is present, surgery commences!

We left the hospital around 4 today which got us back to San Pedro in time to take the family out to dinner. We’ve been working long hours and getting home after dark, just in time to put the kids to bed. It was really nice to get home in time for a bit of fun this evening with TEAM 23 (that’s us). We played UNO, had a glass of wine, and enjoyed a great meal. I will sign off now so we can be up bright and early to start our long day of both clinic and surgery.

Hasta manana!


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