The key to high volume spay/neuter is, obviously, speed. She can spay a cat in seven minutes. It takes me about thirty; a general practitioner who has more experience than I do, but isn’t as obsessed with speed, might take ten or twelve. This is what I learned:
- Keep your surgical field (the animal!) clear. Take the time to replace your instruments on your instrument tray when you are not using them, so that you have less visual clutter.
- Always know where each surgical instrument belongs. Don’t leave them in a pile or even a random row on your tray. Have an order for them — any order, so long as you are familiar with it and can reach for a particular instrument and know right where it will be.
- Don’t waste movements. If you’re reaching to the right to grab a new instrument, don’t twist all the way over to face the tray; just reach your right hand over.
- Don’t get tangled up in your instruments. Be willing to take a second to switch hands if you have yourself in an awkward position.
- As you’re working on one step, have your next step in your mind. What instrument will you be reaching for next?
- Relax. Stand up straight. Breathe, breathe, breathe.