Live...from the Heart
The interactive videoconference between your class or classroom and the operating room.
Careers Inside the OR
A team of cardiovascular surgeons will perform the bypass surgery, visit the patient before and after surgery to answer any questions, and follow the patient's progress throughout hospitalization. After four years of college and four years of medical school, a cardiovascular surgeon completes about eight years of additional training.
The scrub nurse prepares the sterile field, surgical supplies and equipment. During the surgery, the scrub nurse assists the surgeon and the physician assistant by passing instruments, suctioning blood and maintaining the sterile field. A scrub nurse has a degree from a nursing school and at least one year of operating room experience.
The circulating nurse prepares the patient for surgery by setting up the IV, attaching the monitoring devices and helping the anesthesiologist. A circulating nurse has a degree from a nursing school and at least one year of operating room experience.
The anesthesiologist administers the drug that puts the patient to sleep before the operation and monitors the heart, lungs and kidneys during the procedure. An anesthesiologist has completed four years of college, four years of medical school and up to five years of additional training.
The perfusionist operates the heart-lung machine, which takes over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery. A perfusionist has a five-year college degree.
The physician assistant, or PA, harvests the vein in the leg (saphenous vein) that is used for the bypass. The PA assists the surgeon throughout the procedure. A PA earns a four-year college degree. PA programs require some type of medical experience, such as paramedic training or a job as a patient care technician, respiratory therapist or registered nurse, and are usually two years long.
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