Dr. Adams was amazing. He took his time to answer any questions I had at my consultation appointment and did not leave until I was completely satisfied with all the details regarding the surgery.
The day of surgery I was really nervous. As a critical care nurse, I know that although most of the time things go as planned, I have seen where the unexpected does happen. I told my nurse and she just said "we are used to dealing with nerves". Then she sat me down in the chair and started hooking me up to the vital machine. She took off my glasses and put sunglasses on me. This made me even more scared because I am legally blind without my glasses, so I couldn't see anything that was happening, I could only hear. She put on my CPAP mask and told the nurse anesthetist that I was ready for her. Meanwhile, my eyes are watering and I am trying not to cry. I am not sure why I was so nervous, but I was, and unfortunately the nurse didn't explain anything to me or have a therapeutic conversation with me. The CRNA came in, asked my age, assuming I was a teenager, and then acted shocked when she read in my chart I am in my 20s. That made me feel small because I have adult onset acne that I am self-conscious about, and here I have a provider telling me that I "look 16 years old" right before surgery. She started my IV without any difficulty, she told me she was going to start some sedation. I felt a cool sensation in my hand that traveled up my arm, said a silent prayer, and that is all I remember until I woke up.
I remember waking up, thinking I hadn't even had the surgery yet, that the sedation was just the first round to make sure I would respond to it. I remember hearing "Is she up now?" as I started opening my eyes, and looking around the room. My face was so numb that I didn't feel any pain, or even the ice pack that was wrapped on my jaws. The post-op nurse walked to me and asked if I could sit up. I did, shaking still with nerves, not comprehending that I had already had surgery. Thinking that something was wrong and they had to move me. She helped me stand up and move me to the recovery room. She took a set of vitals, and turned away from me to chart on the computer. At this point I started to cry. The combination of the anesthesia, the unknown, and the nerves got the best of me. The post-op nurse came over right away and asked if I was in pain. I shook my head "no". She asked if it was the anesthesia, I nodded my head "yes". She gave me a tissue and took another set of vitals, telling me that it is almost time to head home. I was shocked. It felt like I just woke up. I desperately wanted to know how the surgery went, but with a mouth full of gauze and an ice pack wrapped around my head, it was difficult. The nurse thought I was saying "I want to go", but then I was able to sound out the words to say "How did it go?" She told me it went very well, and that my ride was coming around back to pick me up. She helped me get up, walk to the car, and we were gone.
I share this experience not because it was a bad one, but because there are always ways that we, an nurses, can make the patient experience better. I told my nurse that I was nervous, and it didn't seem to phase her at all. I was visibly shaking with my eyes watering, and I was told "you're going to be fine". I felt like if everything was explained to me as they were prepping me, that I would have been more comfortable. I could have used some personal conversation, some distraction. No one asked what I do for a living, where I live, do I have a family. It seemed like I was just another surgery to be checked off the block. Then after surgery, I did not even know I was done. I definitely could have felt more comfort in knowing that everything went well, there were no complications, or any small details to help me understand what happened. Instead I let myself get all worked up with the unknown, in a state where it wasn't easy to talk.
In general, the nurses get a 3/5 stars. Not due to lack of clinical skill, but rather, the social aspect of nursing and the therapeutic part of our job.
Dr. Adams, you get 5/5 stars. You were absolutely wonderful and I would recommend you to my friends for surgery. You made me feel safe, and I thank you for that.
That is how I came up with 4/5 stars for my experience. I hope that this review is read and used for future patient experiences.