ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we go inside the operating room at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Going into surgery can be a scary thing, but staff at the St. Cloud Hospital make sure each procedure runs smoothly.


Surgery Team Charge Carrie Vorpahl says before your operation begins staff must go through an extensive check list.

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

After the labs are done the patient is then rolled into the Operating Room, positioned on the operating table and put to sleep by the anesthesiologist.

"Once the patient is asleep we will finish any final positioning for the surgery, put on the drapes, wait for the surgeon to come in and we are ready to roll," says Vorphal.

A minimum of five people can be in the operating room at once, each with a specific job.

Vorphal says each procedure can take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours and once surgery is over the patient is brought into recovery.

"As the patient comes out of surgery they are put into our recovery area to rest and heal," says Vorpahl.

As the patient leaves, all the equipment is packed up and taken to decontamination, and the room is cleaned for the next procedure.

"Everything get completely wiped down, which takes about 30 minutes, and once it's dry we get the next case cart and start over with the next procedure," says Vorpahl.

While the operating room seems like it can be a stressful environment, Vorphal says it's actually pretty laid back.

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

The St. Cloud Hospital will be holding an open house next Thursday (November 12th) from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tours begin in the new Surgery Entrance and your asked to take the South Ramp Elevator to Floor A.

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