Observed a prostate biopsy today. After the patient was wheeled in from anaesthesia, the consultant told his surgical registrars to do a digital rectal examination on the patient to feel the prostate’s size and its nodules.
An orderly queue formed at the foot of the table, index fingers held up as though testing wind direction. He then motioned to me that I should also become familiar with what a prostate with pathology felt like.
Accepting the fate of my finger, I donned the gloves and joined the line. I shuffled forward to take my turn and just as I reached the patient, someone shouted that the patient had not yet been ‘taped’. I stepped aside to avoid the scrub nurse as she sprang into action, taping certain appendages out of the way and then immediately afterwards the surgeon moved in to start the procedure. I was saved – thank you scrub nurse!