On March 17 of this year, Backtalk hosted their annual Meet the Surgical Team session at WakeMed. The session included myself as well as representatives from anesthesia, surgical nursing, floor nursing and neurologic monitoring. During the two hour program, we described the typical surgical day for a child undergoing instrumented spinal fusion. Each participant gave a brief interactive presentation followed by a Q&A session. The meeting was attended by members of the Backtalk group as well as parents and children who are facing the procedure. I've posted videos of the session in the Videos tab of this blog and it is also accessible through the Backtalk website.
I really enjoy these unscripted sessions with children and parents. The casual interactivity allows us to discuss topics that are important to the group and not just read a cookbook of information. The Q&A always keeps me on my toes, since I never know what the attendees will ask and what specific aspect of the surgery they will find most interesting.
The most important take home message of the talks is not the specifics about when to arrive or what pajamas to pack. It is to see that the entire team is focussed so fully on the care of the child undergoing an operation and that, because of that focus, we can work seamlessly for the child's safety. I find it comforting as surgeon to know that I have such devoted and caring folks on my team. I think it must be particularly comforting for the parents and the child to see them as well.