ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we prep for surgery and get ready to go under the knife in the Operating Room at the St. Cloud Hospital.

When you come into surgery it's not a simple in and out process. A lot of prep work is done before you go make your way to the operating table.

Carrie Vorpahl is the Surgery Team Charge at the St. Cloud Hospital. She says their is a long check list that must be done before any surgery is performed.

"So the patient is first admitted to the Center of Surgical Care, there nurses get them admitted, get their IV's started, labs drawn and any pre-operation orders the surgeon would have," says Vorpahl.

Once labs are done you're then rolled into the Operating Room, positioned on the table and put to sleep by the anesthesiologist.

"Once the patient is asleep we will finish any final positioning, get them prepped, but on the drapes, surgeon comes in and we are ready to roll," says Vorpahl.

As the operation begins a minimum of five people can be in the room at once. Each with a very specific job.

"Everyone has their own little job going on at the same time," say Vorpahl.

Surgery procedures can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. Once finished the patient is then brought into recovery.

"As they come out of surgery they are put on the left side of the room to recover," says Vorpahl.

All the equipment is then packed up and taken to decontamination and the operating room is cleaned for the next procedure.

"Everything gets completely wiped down, which takes about 30 minutes, and then once that dries we get the next case cart and start the next procedure," says Vorpahl.

Vorpahl says while it seems like a stressful environment the operating room can be pretty laid back.

"It's kind of a low key serious atmosphere," says Vorphal.

The St. Cloud Hospital will be holding an open house this (Thursday) evening to give you a first hand look at the operating rooms. It runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Take the South Ramp Elevator to Floor A.


Carrie Vorpahl takes us inside the Operating Room at the St. Cloud Hospital. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)