Finished With Regional Anesthesia – Onto Cardiothoracic Anesthesia

What an absolutely incredible month! With weekends off, a week of vacation, Christmas Eve/Day off, and two academic days off to partake in Baylor Med’s anesthesiology residency interview days, I only worked a total of 14 days doing regional anesthesiology this month. In that time, I did 141 procedures. In fact, if I had done 0 epidurals, spinals, or peripheral nerve blocks before the month, I easily met my minimum requirements for ALL OF RESIDENCY working half the month.

Peripheral nerve block set up with a Pajunk E-Cath

I learned a great deal about regional anesthesia techniques, patient care, and the world of private practice anesthesiology from the wonderful attendings I worked with. Oh, and the pain management nurses… talk about people who are essential to the team. They constantly facilitated my learning opportunities and made me look forward to coming to work each day.

The absolute best part of the rotation came today with my very last block – the elusive stellate ganglion block. I got to work with the group’s most senior attending performing the block to alleviate arterial vasospasm. It was done like a true pain procedure (in the operating room, under C-arm fluoroscopy), and best of all, it worked! Such a cool block, and there’s nothing like instant gratification when patients improve. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m starting two months of cardiothoracic anesthesiology, one of the fellowships I’m currently pursuing. Its been a while since I’ve actually done general anesthesiology (intubations, line placements, maintenance of general anesthesia, cardiopulmonary bypass cases, etc.) We’ll see how quickly I remember the nuances of the operative arena. 😉

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