No one necessarily wants to undergo surgery, but certain circumstances require going “under the knife.” When that occasion arises, you want the best surgeons and support staff on your side.
Pullman Regional Hospital's new surgery practice, Pullman Surgical Associates, is fulfilling that need every day. Lisa Cordodor, Clinic Manager for the practice, shares information for anyone who might encounter a need for general surgery.
What Is Considered “General Surgery”?
General surgery is both broad and specific, all at the same time. It encompasses a number of different organ (or organ groups) such as the stomach, intestines, gallbladder, liver, spleen, and appendix.
But, this type of surgery also involves things like breast-, lung-, and thyroid-associated procedures. “We do a lot, but it’s all highly-specialized,” notes Cordodor.
How Have Pullman’s Surgical Services Changed?
Historically, Pullman Regional Hospital had surgeons who saw patients in clinic to consult on their surgical needs. From there, they would schedule them for surgeries further down the road. However, they were also taking calls 24/7.
“They might have a clinic day and have patients waiting to be seen. But, if they got called by the ER for an emergency, they got pulled away. Those patients who were waiting in clinic ended up getting bumped or rescheduled. It put a kink in the chain,” explains Cordodor.
The new call schedule is more efficient, because Pullman has hired on two more acute care surgeons, Dr. Martin and Dr. Zuckerman.
“They're both highly skilled surgeons, just like Dr. Visger and Dr. Panko, but they've been hired to take care of emergency surgeries,” adds Cordodor. “So, rather than seeing patients in clinic, they're on call 24/7 to cover emergency surgeries. This frees up Dr. Panko and Dr. Visger to see those clinic patients and get them scheduled without having to reschedule when emergencies come in.”
Additionally, the center will have a dedicated medical gastrointestinal (GI) provider to manage GI-specific cases like ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease.
Expert Care, From a Robust Surgical Team
Pullman Surgical Associates operates with a highly-specialized crew. Beyond the surgeons, an anesthesia provider is in charge of the patient's vital signs during surgery. A surgical technician is tasked with ensuring everything is sterile—from the surgical environment to the instruments utilized during procedures. Cordodor describes an additional team member, the RN circulator, as a “rover.”
“If you're a baseball fan, you know what a rover is. They are running the field and coordinating between all the different parties to make sure everyone has what they need. So, they'd be helping with anesthesia, helping the surgeon. Or, if the surgical team needs more equipment or more medication, if they need to coordinate with pathology, the blood bank, lab, or other departments. They're documenting everything that happens, kind of a ‘Jack of all trades’ in there.”
Depending on the procedure, an RN first assist may be employed—which is just an extra set of hands for the surgeon. These nurses have additional training that makes them more specialized, where they can actually help make and suture incisions, as well as put in port sites.
“We have an amazing team of highly-skilled and experienced personnel, everything from the surgeon down to the surgical tech and cleaning crews. I'm proud to be a part of this community and this OR crew. I wouldn't hesitate to take myself to Pullman Surgical Associates, or my family members, my loved ones,” shares Cordodor. “They work hard. They have a lot of years of experience and they know what they're doing. They care about patients very much.”
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