Tips for OR Success

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Tips for OR success

1.Read OR schedule (put out previous afternoon) so you know what surgeries are to be done.

     a. Read Pt info night before surgery (H&P)-presentation, disease course, etc.

     b. Read about procedure night before.  Its good to be able to know the basic steps of the procedure to anticipate questions and deeper understanding. (Resources: Schwartz Principles of Surgery, ACS Surgery Principles & Practice)

     c. Read Surgical Recall section for procedure night before.

     d. Always make sure you have met and examined patient; review H&P right before procedure.


3. Arrive in OR before induction of anesthesia.  The sooner you learn how to put a Foley catheter in, the more useful you will be.  (The OR is a great place to learn this skill.)

4. Always introduce yourself to OR nurses.

5. Offer to help with surgical preparation of patient.

6. Introduce yourself to the attending.

7. Look interested.

8. Assist by holding retractors, controlling suction, and cutting suture but don’t snatch things without permission (see 2.)  

9. It’s okay to ask questions during case but be careful about timing; always ask if it’s a good time to ask a question before doing so.

10. Always, accompany patient to recovery room (don’t forget the chart).

11. Volunteer to write the operative note and postoperepubative surgical orders.

12. If you leave the OR to go to a conference or other mandatory meeting, let the chief surgical resident or attending physician know prior to the surgery if possible so someone else can be assigned to your case.  Many attending expect to see medical students across the table.  Your presence, or lack thereof, will be noticed.