Finished With Obstetric Anesthesiology As A CA-1

Tomorrow is my last day of obstetric anesthesiology and also my last day as a second year anesthesiology resident (CA-1). Over the last two months, I’ve done a ton of epidurals, spinals, and combined spinal-epidural anesthetics to help provide labor analgesia and surgical anesthesia for my patients. There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing a parturient in immense pain… pain which I will never know as a male… experience significant relief after a neuraxial anesthetic. 

Working on my ultrasound skills… on myself.

While much of the first month was spent studying for my Basic board exam, the latter part of the rotation was filled with reading obstetric anesthesiology – the physiologic and pharmacodynamic changes associated with pregnancy, the maternal-fetal considerations with neuraxial anesthesia, and above all else, playing with the incredibly cute babies!

One of the best parts about being at the head of the bed in a C-sections is being the first to congratulate the mothers! Sometimes they’re tearful. Other times they’re nauseated. But they’re always happy. And I get to practice taking mother-baby photos. 😉

Overall, this was a wonderful rotation which helped me appreciate the nuances of neuraxial anesthesia, and just how much of it depends on the “feel” of the epidural needle. I really know when I’ve engaged the supraspinous/interspinous ligaments, ligamentum flavum, and most importantly, feel a true loss of resistance indicative of the epidural space. Hopefully this knowledge will stay with me till October when I come back to the obstetric service as a CA-2. 🙂

…here’s hoping I don’t have an inadvertent dural puncture on my last day tomorrow! 😯

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