«My first day, my first bite»

Skrevet av Abdul Rahman Kargbo

What we now is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean. Therefore knowing is not enough, we must apply, willing is not enough we must do. As i am in the surgical training program (STP) with all my will to know, and learn how to do. It is always an amazing thing to me whenever I see a trained surgeon making a knot with his hands and with just a tiny string of rope (sutures) within a blink of an eye. One may think it is easy when seeing someone doing it. But it is a difficult task to perform correctly if the skills are not there.

If a surgeon cannot tie a knot correctly, it can cost you the life of your patient and or your credibility’s as a surgeon. Because of this danger, I have never tried any form of surgeries in my three years of practices as a Community Health Officer. More especially when it comes to a surgery that involve knot tying.

Early October was my first day in the surgical training program. I made attempts to make my first surgical knot. We got an explicit explanation and demonstration of Doctor Lesley on how to make the first and second thrown in other to complete a knot. The knot is made up of a first thrown and second thrown. The direction and the position determine the type of knot.

After several tangling and disentangling with the strings I was finally able to know how to make a simple knot. I became more excited and interested in repeating the steps of knot tying over and over an again. I finally thought that could be the only tying of knot i could place in any situation that requires a knot/s during performing a surgical procedure. Not until few munities after when she noticed that everyone of us can do it well, then I saw her again written on the board six(6) other types of knots. I became weak and I felt crappy all over again. What came to mind was a thought that what we just did was the easiest one amongst those other six once. As teacher always start with the easiest /simple examples. I became astonish and confounded with fears. I imagined we have just spent about an hour to practice just the first knot, which was called the simple or basic knots.

That day we were almost in the evening hours when Doctor Lesley clearly stated the options that; «if you can do or tie all those six types of knots correctly then you can go home». I became furious completely when I had the challenge. The entire class of five became quiet. I am sure everyone was thinking what could be the outcome. She then broke the silence when she noticed it in our faces or looks. Next she changed the teaching methodology to some thing else. She gave the free will to everyone to start with the knotting types we think we were comfortable with, but no one did. We all followed the systematic ways it was written on the board, and at least, all felt relaxed and confidence all over again.

After a brief quiet moment, one of us asked how to tie the next knots? She explained on how to tie a sliding knots (It’s steps, advantages and disadvantages) followed by an excellent demonstration of tying a sliding knot. Guess what, it all turn out to be very easy, as there are no much a different with the first basic knot. The only different with basic knot is, in a sliding knot one loop of string slide round the other to make a knot. No doubt in it, as every one just did it correctly without wasting no time. The sliding knot turn out to be the most outstanding knot in that day. The same we did the other five knots (the flat knot, surgeons knots, instrument tie etc) with easy and spending little time to complete all the five knots.

All of these made me feel more comfortable and relaxed in the surgical training program. Especially what I have experienced during my first day in doing my first knots. With this, I came to the conclusion that the entire surgical training program requires courage conviction and confidence. As it is all about skills and knowledge, just like the saying goes » It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skills”.

by STP-student Abdul Rahman Kargbo