• Heather Mistretta

Be a Surgeon with Your Words


At times, I have been told that I am surgeon with my words, or perhaps in a less flattering light, a bit too persnickety with my copy.


Gulp.


A word that even if you don’t have a firm grasp of the English language, you probably still have a pretty good idea as to what it means or the emotion it evokes. So on that note, I think I’ll stick to the former comment.

As you approach a writing assignment of any sort, get your scrubs on, burnish away any residue from your hands, look for the right tools no matter how pointy or sharp they may be…and operate.


As you make your first cut, or “otomy,” keep in mind that it may take longer than expected, and the tool you first choose may not be the right one. Rest assured, that’s okay. There are plenty of others. Choose a different one...but keep on going. Muddle through the procedure with the idea that your goal is to make it better, whether that involves a snip, siphon or suture. And remember that there is often more than one way to do it right.


You notice an unexpected rupture, and the hemorrhaging begins while the BP drops. Take a deep breath, and remember to keep your goal in mind and ask for help and support if needed. You find the source of the bleeding, administer pressure and mop up the spillage.


Phew, disaster averted. You assess the rest of the area, and proceed. With additional tools you scrape and blot wherever needed, realizing that the end of your operation is near.

The time has come to finish so you carefully sew it up and check all vitals. And realize, a job well done.


Not every surgery will involve unexpected ruptures nor will they all be routine, but with the right tools, support and mindset, the result can be a success.

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