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Public gets a peek inside Washington County Hospital's operating room

November 10, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- How does a surgeon know he or she is operating on the right person? Or performing the right procedure?

Those were some of the many questions answered during Sunday's operating room open house at Washington County Hospital, according to First Surgical Assistant Peggy Harding.

The public tour and demonstration was part of a weeklong recognition of perioperative nurses at the hospital. Employees pretended to be patients as nurses and other staff showed the public some of what they do during an operation.

About one hour into the two-hour event, 52 people had already arrived, the best turnout Harding could remember. She's been a part of the open house for at least the past eight years. Early in the long-running event's history, demonstrations were done remotely at Valley Mall.

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Harding said visitors learned about "the measures we take to ensure a person's safety" before, during and after surgery.

"It's the measures we take to make sure we're doing the correct surgery on the right person," Harding said.

Nurses also are responsible for positioning a person's body when they are under the influence of anesthesia so the patient is not injured.

"This (open house) gives the community an opportunity to find out what happens in (an operating room)," Harding said.

On Sunday she said many of the visitors were employees and their families.

Kim Barber of Waynesboro, Pa., visited Sunday to view the operating room where her son, Tom Kline, also of Waynesboro, works as a surgical technologist. Barber works on the hospital's first floor, and said she'd never seen the second-floor operating rooms where her son works.

Kline was involved in Sunday's demonstrations.

"It was showing them the safety practices that are in place ... and with the surgical tools," Kline said.

Barber said watching her son at work made her proud.

"He did a good job," she said.

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