A day at the Outpatient Surgery Center
UVA Outpatient Surgery Center
The University of Virginia Outpatient Surgery Center is a free-standing facility located two blocks from UVa Hospital. It has six operating rooms and a two-phase post anesthesia care unit. Surgeons from several different specialties perform procedures at the center. Approximately half of all pediatric procedures are performed there. We often refer to the center as VASI, its former name as Virginia Ambulatory Surgery, Inc., or VASC (Virginia Ambulatory Surgery Center). (Same pronunciation for both)
A day out with patients
This rotation allows a much-anticipated change of scenery from the Main Operating Rooms. Residents in the CA1-CA3 years spend several weeks across the street from the “Big House” at the Outpatient Surgery Center, also known as VASC.
We typically begin the day at about 6:30, checking out drugs from the pharmacy and setting up our rooms. We then see our patients in the preoperative area, and discuss any issues with our attendings. The cases involve a mix of pediatrics and adults, and you will often find yourself doing both types on a single day. There is also considerable variation in the type of anesthetics you will provide, ranging from monitored anesthetics to general, with and without regional. Also, you are able to become familiar with the unique challenges that ambulatory anesthesia affords (i.e. managing pain and PONV with the goal of relatively rapid discharge for the patient), as well as focusing more on turnover times and efficiency.
We have a dedicated regional team at VASC, who will assist you by
providing blocks. You will also spend time as the dedicated
“Regional Resident” during other weeks of residency.
There is a great sense of camaraderie at VASC, since most of the staff is permanently located there. They are ready to welcome the rotating residents and to help them get accustomed to the differences between this and the Main OR.
During our week there, we have a staggered “out” system, so you will have some days where you get to leave quite early, and then one or two days a week where you will stay until all of the cases are done and all of the patients are cleared to leave the PACU.
Overall, the weeks at VASC offer a chance to learn about and practice skills unique to ambulatory anesthesia, as well as an oft refreshing change of environment.
Emily Knipper, CA1