A Blast from the Past: A Day in the Life of an IONM Professional “Back in the Day” 🚀
Ever pondered what it was like to be an IONM pro way back when? Well, grab your time-traveling goggles and let’s peek into the interesting adventures of our old-school IONM wizard, Sam Johnson, as he navigates his way through a regular day back then! 🕰️✨
Ah, the good old days! When cell phones were the size of bricks, the internet was a luxury, and Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM) professionals had a slightly different daily grind. Let’s hop into our time machine and journey back to a day in the life of an IONM professional from yesteryears. Buckle up; it’s going to be a nostalgic ride!
⏰*Morning: The Analog Alarm Clock Rings*
Forget smartphones or digital alarms; our IONM professional wakes up to the shrill ring of an analog alarm clock. Because one alarm clock isn’t enough excitement for the morning circus, we’ve got not one, but two alarm clocks ready to perform their juggling act! Just in case one decides to snooze its way out of the spotlight! After a quick stretch and a yawn, it’s time to get ready for the day. The attire? A crisp set of freshly washed scrubs, of course!
🍳*Breakfast: A Quick Bite and Some Morning News*
Breakfast is a simple affair – toast, eggs, and a cup of coffee. While munching away, our IONM professional skims through the morning newspaper (yes, the physical one) to catch up on the latest medical advancements.
📼*Commute: The Joy of Mixtapes*
The drive to the hospital is accompanied by the sweet sound of mixtapes playing on the car’s cassette player. Ah, the joy of rewinding tapes with a pencil! As the tunes play, our IONM professional mentally prepares for the day’s surgeries.
🏥*At the Hospital: Gearing Up*
Upon arrival, it’s straight to the IONM lab. Back in the day, the equipment was bulkier, with more wires and fewer digital displays. We used the four-channel #Dantec way back in the day and then upgraded to the whopping eight-channel #NicoletViking. Calibrating the machines was an art, and our IONM professional was a master artist. With electrodes in hand and machines humming to life, it’s showtime!
😷*The First Surgery: All Hands on Deck*
The first surgery of the day begins. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, and IONM professional work in perfect harmony. Communication is key, and it’s often done the old-fashioned way – with clear verbal cues and hand signals. No fancy digital alerts here!
🎬When 8 Channels Weren’t Enough: Navigating Success in Complex Cases
Ah, the good old days of intraoperative neuromonitoring, when linking channels and eliciting evoked responses felt a bit like a science experiment gone wild. We oftentimes felt like we were in the wild, wild west of medicine. Long deformity cases had us linking more channels than a TV network executive in the golden age of cable TV!
⚡⚡The Shocking Truth: TcMEPs and Nerve Roots…or Not!”
Back in the day, TcMEPs were our trusty sidekicks for long-track monitoring, but nerve roots were still left guessing! You see, TcMEPs were like that flashy, extroverted friend who would grab the mic at a karaoke bar and belt out a tune without asking for your opinion. They were great at showing off when it came to tracking long neural pathways, but when it came to assessing the integrity of nerve roots, they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot. Trying to coax an evoked response from transcortical stimulation was a bit of a comedy show for three reasons, and trust me, it wasn’t because the brains were camera-shy!
1️⃣ When it came to studying the effects of anesthesia on motor-evoked potentials, we were still in the “goo-goo ga-ga” stage of infancy, before Deletis’ popular research came into play.
2️⃣Stimulus parameters were about as standardized as a buffet line at a food fight – chaos reigned, and everyone brought their own flavor of mayhem to the table.
3️⃣Our brain-stimulating machines were like those old flip phones trying to run TikTok – they had significant limitations in the art of brain stimulation. We were left wishing for a bit more “oomph” to make those neurons dance!
🥪*Lunch Break: Cafeteria Gossip*
Lunchtime is a chance to refuel and catch up with colleagues in the hospital cafeteria. Discussions range from the latest surgical techniques to the newest episode of the hottest TV show. And yes, there’s always that one colleague showing off their brand-new pager!
🥪*Afternoon: Research and Reading*
Post-lunch, our IONM professional spends some time in the hospital library. With no internet or online journals, keeping up with the latest in the field means poring over physical medical journals and textbooks. Ah, the smell of old books!
🌆*Evening: Winding Down*
As the sun sets, it’s time to wrap up. Machines are switched off, electrodes are cleaned, and notes are meticulously written down in patient files. With a satisfied sigh, our IONM professional calls it a day.
🌙*Night: Relax and Recharge*
Back home, dinner is a family affair. Post-dinner, it’s time to relax in front of the TV (with limited channels) or perhaps listen to some music on the vinyl record player. As the night deepens, our IONM professional drifts off to sleep, ready to do it all over again the next day.
🌇At The End of the Day
While the tools and technology have evolved, the passion and dedication of IONM professionals remain unchanged. The days of yore had their challenges, but they also had their charms. So, here’s to the IONM professionals of the past, who laid the foundation for the advancements we see today. Cheers to the unsung heroes of yesteryears!
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