*The AWAKE During Surgery: Exploring Relational Ethics in the Operating Room study examines the interactions between healthcare professionals and frail, older adults, who are awake during the TAVI procedure. The AWAKE Study is funded through a CIHR Ethics Catalyst Grant (Nominated PI: Jennifer Baumbusch)
Today was our first day of orientation in the OR to prepare for data collection for the AWAKE study. We’ve been working diligently over the last 6 months to get the study set up and now we are ready to start the fun stuff – observations and interviews!
We had an early 6:30am start at the hospital, where we met our amazing co-investigator, Dr. Sandra Lauck, who was kind enough to meet us that early in the morning to show us the ropes. The first thing we had to do was get our scrubs, and lead vests and skirts – which felt surprisingly heavy over the course of the observations. But even this early in the morning and with heavy gear on we were excited to get started.
Sandra introduced us to the surgical team, who were all incredibly nice and interested in the study. There were a lot of people in the OR so Sarah and I tried to place ourselves in the best spots to be able to observe both the patient, as well as, the interactions between the clinical staff. Among the clinical staff were; the interventional cardiologist, the interventional cardiology fellows, the operating room nurses and catheter nurses, the anesthesiologist and the radiology technician. So it was a busy room, but everyone was at a specific position and had a different job and it was really cool to see.
Everything in the OR was new to us so thankfully we had Sandra with us during the first observation, and we wrote down everything she explained as fast as we could. By the second observation we were already feeling much more familiar with the procedure, the various monitors and screens, and the roles of everyone in the room.
We watched two procedures, the first patient was “asleep” and second patient was “awake”, and it was really interesting to see the difference in the patients’ experience. We left excited about starting data collection and learning more about the patient’s experience through future observations and interviews. We also realized that next time we would definitely have to wear our most comfortable running shoes!