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Is a Cooperative Surgeon Enough?

Your care in a hospital will involve many persons other than your surgeon. These persons make up your medical team. This can easily include dozens of physicians as well as nurses, technicians and Operating Room personnel. The strength of your team will be dependent upon the level of each individual's commitment to your care. Who is on the team?
 
The Cooperative Team
  • Anesthesiology. This group needs to know and understand your wishes. They are involved in the administering of blood and blood products as well as the operation of equipment which may be used to salvage blood.
  • Every other physician in your surgeon's department. They may see you in the post-operative period as they monitor your recovery. These other physicians may cover for your surgeon and make decisions in your care.
  • Medical Services. Aside from the surgeon, a medical doctor from internal medicine, cardiology or nephrology may look after aspects of your recovery. It is not at all unusual for multiple teams to be involved in your post-operative care. Any of them could be involved in decisions which would affect your desire to be treated without transfusions. This is important as transfusions in surgical patients often happen in the days following surgery.
  • Residency Staff. In a teaching hospital, you will be cared for by physicians in training called residents. These work under the supervision of attending staff. Often these are the first physicians that you will see each day. These doctors write orders for transfusions, medicines and treatments.
  • Nursing Staff. Nurses monitor your vital signs, draw blood for phlebotomy and put into practice the orders of your physicians.

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