Career Perfusionist: [5] You ARE the Next Step …

An Iraqi Soldier- and his daughter waiting for heart surgery…

The Soldier & His Daughter Above ?

THAT is why this blog is worth the effort.

It certainly isn’t for name recognition. I get flogged for that (writing this blog), more than you would like to know…

Writing a blog doesn’t make a difference when I pump a case.

It doesn’t make me a better or worse perfusionist. It doesn’t make me more or less compassionate. It hasn’t changed any opinions.

All of that’s already there.

What it does do is make me feel alive.

And I believe that if you intend to keep other people alive- you should value that in yourself as well. Or else- it just becomes a job. And there is no room for that here- for any of us.

I am convinced that people that read what I write- don’t do it because I am a great resource or an enigmatically gifted writer- nor do they read it to become revitalized- nor is Circuit Surfers designed to be used as a reference.

You can google most of the stuff- in here- and if you can’t maybe you need to rethink whatever strategy works for you in terms of staying up to date.

This isn’t Face Book, Google Friends (or whatever), it is not a dying MySpace, and Twitter does not have a segment in the strategy here.

What it is- is an OPTION.

Perfusion is not a Pretty Life.

In the profession, you make some serious decisions. They need to be quick, incisive- AND decisive.

Anyone that second guesses will kill a patient, anyone that hesitates or defers- won’t last.

Surgeons expect us to be proactive- not reactive. They expect us to care, and to be prepared. There are no excuses. A mistake happens in a split second, inaction kills people, and your ability to fix the problem needs to be faster than holding your breath.

Put a marble in your mouth and inhale. That should give you a pretty good idea of how fast you have to be to first of all- make the decision- and then take action and implement that, in order to change out an oxygenator. (This is assuming of course, that you made the correct choice to begin with).

And I mean that. Any major fix has the same timeline as brain-death occurring to a non-resuscitated patient- 4-6 minutes by American Heart Association standards.

Death in this field is quick and unexpected. No one puts a patient on bypass figuring they will die- and if the situation is so critical and emergent- the focus is always to stay ahead of the game- or to catch up if it’s really that bad.

You are EXPECTED to catch up.

There is no CEO, CFO, Cardiologist, OR director, or chief pharmacist sitting right there to give you a hand when things really suck. No one to do an internet search when you are in the middle of a world of woeful hell, that no one can deal with but yourself.

Your best friend is your surgeon and anesthesiologist- that is- if you have things “right” with them.

You worst enemy is yourself- if you start second guessing, doubting yourself, or allow politics and protocols to inhibit your native instincts to do your job.

There was a reason for your Oral Boards…

It was to find out how far you would bend.

It wasn’t a didactic examination- you had already passed that to get to the Orals.

It was to determine one thing, and one thing only.

Who you were going to bat for.

And if you weren’t up to the task- who you would ask for help from.

That was why you took the boards. To see if you would cave in- or bullshit your way through… or allow other people to bully you into decisions you knew were intrinsically bad for the the patient.

Basically it was your position statement.

And just so you know… Those board questions don’t go away.

Every case you do is the same as taking those boards again. Who are you going to bat for ?

It’s always Gotta Be The Patient 1st

People come here and read- because they can relate to what it is that we put down here. At least this site represents a straight forward look at the profession, albeit with a little salt from my perspective.

But it’s honest.

At least it’s honest.

It’s a scary thing we do.

BUT when it boils down to it… == It’s all about the shoes…

People here in Iraq- leave their children’s shoes outside of the OR- so that after surgery, their children will find their way back…

Thank you to Brian Forsberg, MPH CCP, for helping and believing that this site can make a difference.

Next:==The Heart-Lung Machine …