Be Quick or Be Dead

January 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

Photo by Øystein Horgmo © All rights reserved.

I’m used to being an annoyance. In my previous job I was working on a project where we should document all kinds of cancer treatment, from biopsies to surgery. We would decide that we needed to make a video of some operation, and then had to go find a surgeon who would agree to take me along. We always found one, but they didn’t always come easy.

So many times in the OR, I had the feeling of being there on borrowed time. I adapted a low profile, going in just in time and getting out as soon as I got what I needed. This worked very well, and made it a lot easier to get a “yes” from a surgeon. They knew I wouldn’t be in the way and would demand little if any attention from them.

In my new job the situation is the total opposite to this. The surgeons and doctors come to us if they want photos or video of an operation or a patient. They want us to tag along. This is a very welcome change for me, but I’m apparently finding it hard to adapt to.

Last week there was a phone call from an OR. They wanted pictures of some abnormal anatomy in the patient’s neck. I grabbed my camera and hurried up there only to find it was a surgeon I’d dealt with before in my old job, performing the surgery. I couldn’t recall him being especially friendly or interested in our project.

Just ten minutes later I was changing from green to white scrubs again. And I realized I’d been in and out so quick I didn’t even know what kind of operation it was, nor the patient’s name and number. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to ask what was abnormal with the neck anatomy. When I thought about it, the surgeon had actually tried to chat casually with me about some camera advice. I didn’t know what I’d answered, I was simply too focused on getting the shots and getting out of there.

Note to self: CALM  DOWN!

The photos turned out great, by the way. Somehow I managed to capture those abnormalities.

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