Have You Ever Held a Beating Heart?

March 2, 2018

From the desk of Lita Fitch, Surgical Technologist Site Coordinator:
I have. I have one of the best jobs I can imagine. When I was 28, I met a surgical technologist. At the time, I just thought she was someone with the coolest job on earth. She scrubbed in and actually assisted physicians in surgery! My sister and I begged her to tell us stories about her job. Unbeknownst to me, my sister applied and was accepted to an ST program that year! Hello! So, I helped her study and was accepted to the school the next year. Yes, we were right, it is the best job imaginable!


I’ve learned a lot in the last 27 years as a “scrub”. How to handle personalities and how to convey anger through a look or a harder than usual slap of an instrument into a gloved hand. I’ve held a beating heart during open heart surgery. I’ve touched a human brain during a craniotomy. I’ve seen successful surgical interventions and not-so-successful ones. I’ve learned lessons from other peoples mistakes, ex: NEVER try to beat a train! (This particular lesson is a mantra both of my daughters can recite in their sleep!)



Here are a some of the other things that I’ve learned:
  • Don’t fill a hot lawn mower with gasoline, just grab a quick glass of cold water to drink and let the mower cool down enough not to ignite fumes.
  • Don’t pull out whatever is impaling someone, it might be staunching blood flow.
  • If you know someone who falls and the next day they don’t know who the president is, go straight to the ER.
  • People don’t see motorcycles!
  • If you mess with a bull (even professionally), you might “get the horns”.
  • Just because you get shot, doesn’t mean you’re going to die.
  • Stab wounds look small, but it’s the unseen internal damage that is mind-blowing.
  • If you’re in charge of keeping a bullet after a crime, NEVER drop it in a metal basin to hear the cool “clink” like in the movies! This damages the ballistics identifiers on said bullet.
  • Walk away…being right isn’t worth your life.
  • Don’t sit on the branch you’re sawing off.
  • Don’t get on the roof to fix the antenna if you’ve been drinking. Hoverboards…only for young people with strong bones.
  • Fireworks, when shot into an eye, are blinding.
  • If it’s electrical, hire an electrician.
  • Stop, drop, and roll if you’re on fire.
  • Lift with your legs.
  • Think before you act.
  • Don’t try to shoot your neighbor’s cat if it’s meowing on your windowsill.
  • Dogs with kids need supervision.
  • Don’t ski off the roof, you might miss the pool.
  • Don’t own a firearm if you don’t know how to use it.
  • A ceiling fan can break an arm.
  • When a can of spray paint says “don’t expose to flames”, you might want to mind that.
  • Don’t burn brush on a windy day.
  • Don’t light a cigarette on the stove with a towel around your neck.
  • If someone yells “duck”, you might want to duck first, then see why…. same with “Fore!”
  • Quilting needles can be sucked into your trachea.
  • Prayer works. Karma is real. Life is fragile. Hug your loved ones.
  • Don’t go a day without telling them you love and appreciate them. Always act like it might be the last time you see them.

For more information about our Surgical Technologist program, visit our website or give us a call at 918.610.0027.