I have been a surgical neurophysiologist for six years, and during those six years, I have had many challenging experiences. I’m sure most SNP’s can attest to the fact that our jobs can be stressful and challenging at times but also very rewarding. This is one of those times.
Over the past several months, the world has changed drastically. Routine daily work life is no longer routine. Our everyday experiences with simple tasks such as getting into hospitals, communication with patients, and normal physical attire have become very different. For example, before COVID-19, we could easily get into the hospital, walk through a busy lobby, and enter the OR without issue. Now, appropriate PPE is a requirement for interacting with patients. Entry necessitates a series of steps, including temperature checks and more.
Everyone’s mood and energy are different too, but that is expected during a crisis of this magnitude. Several months ago during the height of Covid in the Greater NY area, most operating rooms and pre-op areas that were once super busy with multiple cases a day became ghost towns with few patients and staff. Most patients couldn’t even have visitors due to heightened risk and current restrictions. Patients, staff, surgeons, and vendors were all reminded of the risks every time a coworker fell ill or turned on the news.
Despite all the new challenges, I am proud of my job, my company and the surgeons/hospitals with whom I work. Everyone has everyone else’s safety in mind. We make sure to use proper sanitizing techniques and anesthesiologists and CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists) make sure everyone is far away from the patient during intubation and extubation. We all work together as a team to provide optimal care and to make sure we all leave the hospital as safe as possible. So, even though COVID-19 has caused many difficulties in our everyday lives, it has also created a stronger, more collaborative environment for those working to ensure positive patient outcomes, and for that, I am truly grateful.