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About Surgery on Brainscape

What is Surgery?

Nowadays, surgery involves the use of aseptic technique, clean room, bright lights, sterile fields, specialized instruments, and monitors. Before any surgery, patients are also briefed about the procedure with all its risks and possible complications. Going back ten thousand years ago, however, this was not the case. What was once called surgery was nothing of sort and of something done when such things were of desperate resort.

From Mesolithic era (10,000 BCE to 5,000 BCE), holes were drilled in skulls (yes, it’s the best brain surgery that that period has to offer!). And, even with rudimentary efforts and decent intents to heal the sick and ailing, only vinegar and turpentine were used to save the body from infections. Fast forward to the last years of the Middle Ages, ‘barber surgeons’ came to existence – traveling town to town doing operation as a form of performance art. Believe it or not, they perform surgeries on a center stage, with conscious patients serving as stars of the show; and with audiences queued to watch as the barber-surgeon hacks off a limb.

Clearly, surgery in the old times was simply brutal – with patients dealing the agony of excruciating pain, writhing in vain as concoctions and tinctures of herbs attempted to mask the appalling pain of resolute surgeon’s tasks. Who would put themselves through that?

Luckily, we are living in the period of modern surgery. With a patient insensitive to pain and a sterile surgical field, surgery can now be performed to any parts of the human body – on the gut,  kidneys, liver, heart, and on the brain. Nowadays, the era of minimally invasive surgeries has also arrived.

By definition, Surgery is a medical specialty that uses operative and instrumental techniques to treat and correct a pathological condition or trauma to the body like stabbed wounds. It helps to restore and improve anatomical function, as well as appearance, and repair abnormalities or unwanted areas.

Individuals who study surgery are called surgeons. They are the tailors, the carpenters, the plumbers, and the artists of the medical world – reshaping, cutting, drilling, reforming, reconstructing, fixing, bypassing, and treating with the use of surgical instruments.

Surgery is a rewarding field of medicine. Its study encompasses general medicine, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, neurophysiology, life support, and various kinds of advanced science courses and training to deliver safe and effective patient care.

No other kind of specialty has a tangible impact on a patient’s life than surgery.

Careers in Surgery

Surgeons are medical doctors who have received extensive training in providing hands-on care to save, transform, and improve lives. The career route to becoming a general surgeon usually takes six years of medical school and several years of residency.

Surgical nurses, also known as Perioperative nurses, on the other hand, are nurses who specialize in assisting surgeons. They provide preoperative and post-operative teaching, do various roles in the operating room, provide care for patients in the recovery room, and provide care on medical-surgical units. They are sometimes called operating room nurse.

Among the career options related to a medical specialty in surgery are surgical technologist, anesthesiologist/anesthetist, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, operating room nurse, military surgeon, general physician, pharmacists, university lecturer, and medical researcher.

Learning Surgery

Nobody said that studying is easy, but take heart because there are tricks that can be used to pass any university or surgical board exams.

Surgery is a lifelong learning. It combines the elements of many different medical-surgical skills and know-how. With a wide range of topics, oceans of terms, facts, and concepts to memorize and understand, you’ll need lots of motivation and dedication. Many experts also advise that a good foundation on different body systems and their basics makes surgery easier to learn.

And though the amount of studying needed to start making incisions and stapling skin or closing stitches seems immeasurable, anyone with the right attitude or study habits and study tools can become a surgeon.

If you are a visual learner, you can search for resources such as online video lessons. If you are more of auditory type, you can download audio streams or podcasts for helping you study while you are on the go. It is also recommended to augment your classroom resources with complementary tools like the use of memory aids, flashcards, charts, and diagrams.

You can also take advantage of a new learning tool in the form of a mobile app called Brainscape! Brainscape is a great instrument that personalizes your surgery study sessions to focus on your weaknesses while ensuring that you periodically tackle topics that you already know.

Surgery in Brainscape

In Brainscape, you’ll find several classes, decks, and study cards for Surgery – beginning with the top classes below. These include classes created by users (perhaps like you), university professors, and publishers around the world as well as nursing and medical students who want to learn more about Surgery. These classes are ranked by quality and number of users who viewed the class.

In each class, you will find decks – some are organized per body system, and others are grouped from basics of surgery to complex topics including procedures and other applied principles to surgery. These may include an introduction to surgery, surgical asepsis, pack preparation and sterilization, pre-operative, intraoperative, post-operative patient care, medications, complications, traditional approaches, and minimally invasive techniques.

Another benefit you can experience with Brainscape is that you can create your class or set of flashcards! Why is that good news? Well, several studies show that making your own smart flash cards will be yet another tactic to learn Surgery faster, or other subjects you might need to master!

Learn Faster in Brainscape

Brainscape is a unique learning platform that employs the use of existing cognitive learning methods. This process, termed Confidence-Based Repetition (CBR) by Brainscape, is scientifically optimized to boost the normal learning process.

Confidence-Based Repetition makes use of highly-effective cognitive science techniques: Active Recall, Metacognition, and Spaced Repetition.

Active Recall is a technique of efficient learning. It happens when you try to “actively” retrieve information from your brain to stimulate memories. It means that instead of “passively reviewing” the correct answer from multiple choice options, you make a mental effort to recall the answer.

Metacognition, on the other hand, requests you to reflect on how deeply you understand the concept. Upon presenting each answer, Brainscape’s platform will ask you to rate, from 1-5, of how well you knew your answer. This method strengthens memory trace – the actual process of storing memories for long-term use.

Brainscape also applied a learning process called Spaced Repetition. It works alongside metacognition. While metacognition evaluates how well you understand the answer, Spaced Repetition analyzes how soon the cards will appear again. This personalizes your studies to focus on your weakness while warranting that you still periodically review the topics that you know well.

All these study methods applied in Brainscape can be an excellent additional tool to your study plan.

How to Get Started

The best possible way to enjoy the benefits of Brainscape is to start browsing some of the Surgery classes below. You may browse further to see how they are organized into decks.

You may also check each class from different decks to determine if they may suit your needs. Once you have selected classes, dive in, and start studying!