A student talks about a pre-op interview
We had only five minutes. Mrs. M needed to go in for yet another surgery, so an interview by first year medical students was not exactly priority.
“Let’s figure out which questions are necessary,” suggested my POM-1 classmate. I agreed. We established our plan and went in with “what brought you to the hospital?” and “what is the purpose of this surgery?” on the tips of our tongues.
“Why hello…I’m so glad you’re here!” The cheery voice and smiling face did not fit with our mental picture of the pre-op patient. “Would you like to see pictures of my family? They’ve been around the world.”
Still surprised, but intrigued, we looked to the nurse holding the photo album. “It’s true,” she said, and noticed our quizzical looks. “Mrs. M is such a great patient. She’s a miracle, really!”
Mrs. M laughed a little and said, “You all have been wonderful, and God has been watching over me.” She pointed at the religious pictures posted on her hospital room wall. She had been here for awhile. “I have been so blessed. My car accident was days ago. But my CNS was completely spared. It’s about all that was spared, but thank God!”
She looked down at her foot, the objective of today’s operation, and went on to tell us of previous surgeries on her legs, arms, and abdomen. By this point, our questions didn’t even matter. The peaceful Mrs. M was soon wheeled out for surgery, but we stayed in her room for a few more minutes. We had most of the story, but needed more time with her pictures.