Anonymous Creative Nonfiction Submission
All I can smell is the sterile mask covering my face, and I can hardly see through my foggy goggles. There is a faint beep of the heart rate monitor in the background. I begin to sweat from all of my layers: scrubs, surgery gowns, lead dressings and nervous tension.
I am surrounded by doctors and nurses all systematically preparing for surgery. There is another student intern next to me. The head surgeon marks up the gentleman’s sterile spine and begins to cut with the scalpel. I hear a thud next to me. I look down to the right and realize the other student intern has fainted and I am the only one who seems to notice. I look around but nobody makes eye contact with me.
I was faced with a dilemma. What do I do? Should I interrupt a crucial part of the spinal surgery or should I just let her lie there until someone else notices. After a few seconds of panicking and looking around, I finally knelt down next to her. She seemed to be breathing so I positioned her on her side, like I had learned in CPR training a few weeks before. After what seemed like forever, one of the technicians raced out of the room and came back with smelling salts to help revive her.