A Day in the Life: Surgical Technologist Wandra Wise

Lexington Medical Center employees are some of the finest health care professionals in the nation. In this new feature on our hospital blog, we’re going to showcase them and the great jobs they do taking care of the people of our community. We call it “A Day in the Life.”

No day on the job is ever the same for Wandra Wise, surgical technologist at Lexington Medical Center.

LMC Surgical Technologist Wandra Wise

LMC Surgical Technologist Wandra Wise

“There’s nothing else I’d rather do,” she said.

Wandra has been a surgical technologist at Lexington Medical Center for 12 years. Her day begins at 6:30 a.m. in the Surgery department at the hospital. After a quick morning meeting to review the cases for the day, Wandra is assigned to an operating room where she prepares instruments for the day’s surgeries.

“We have a great group of doctors, nurses and techs,” she said. “We also do a lot of great surgeries that are always on the cutting edge. From neurology to orthopaedics to gynecology, there’s always a variety.”

Strickland_120424_104 RetouchedWandra is responsible for at least three surgeries daily. On the day we met with her, the list included removal of a neck lump, a colon removal and a laparoscopic colon resection. During the procedures, her responsibilities include holding a camera, passing instrumentation and helping with stitches.

“There’s no greater feeling than to help someone who’s been dealing with a problem for a long time – to get them here and make them feel better through surgery, and watch everything turn out right,” Wandra said. “It’s great to be able to help someone.”

A Newberry native, Wandra received her surgical technologist certification at Piedmont Tech. She is married with four children and one grandchild.

She’s a valued member of the Lexington Medical Center team.

Lexington Medical Center is hiring more certified surgical technologists! Apply online at LexMed.com/Careers

A Day in the Life: Surgical Technologist Lenae Scott

Lexington Medical Center employees are some of the finest health care professionals in the nation. In this new feature on our hospital blog, we’re going to showcase them and the great jobs they do taking care of the people of our community. We call it “A Day in the Life.”

Lenae Scott’s workday begins while many of us are still sleeping.

As a surgical technologist in the Surgery department at Lexington Medical Center, she arrives at work before sunrise at 6:30 a.m. Lenae plays an integral role on a top-notch surgical team that provides innovative, state-of-the-art treatments to patients each day.

LMC Surgical Technologist Lenae Scott

LMC Surgical Technologist Lenae Scott

“It’s very rewarding knowing you’re helping someone in their time of need,” Lenae said.

After a team huddle, Lenae receives her schedule of cases, usually three to four each day, and is dispatched to an operating room. On the day we visited with her, she was assigned to a hernia, carotid artery procedure, needle lumpectomy and an amputation.

surgery toolsHer responsibilities include setting up supplies for each case and ensuring all needed equipment is there, draping the patients, putting a gown and gloves on the doctor, passing instrumentation during the procedure and holding equipment including cameras or suction tools.

She’s happy to work at Lexington Medical Center, noting there’s a family-style atmosphere, coupled with outstanding facilities.

“The Surgery department here has so much space and the technology is state-of-the-art,” Lenae said. “Lexington Medical Center also has great benefits including state retirement and wonderful insurance.”

LSA_Harmon_Surgery_3The Surgery department inside the hospital has 23 operating rooms with at least two surgical technologists per case. The team embraces a culture of safety, collaboration, passion and respect.

Lenae, who is a Lexington native, decided to enter the surgical technologist field when she was still in high school.

“I was always interested in medicine. I’m also a very hands-on person, so I liked the idea of working with instruments and helping patients.”

She received her degree at Midlands Technical College. Today, she lives in West Columbia with her husband Kevin and 16-month-old daughter.

Her work day usually ends around 3:00 p.m. Lexington Medical Center is the only place she has worked as a surgical technologist, and she adds she never wants to leave.

Lexington Medical Center is hiring more certified surgical technologists! Apply online at LexMed.com/Careers

The Doctor Is In: Women and Heart Disease

From raising children to maintaining busy work schedules and keeping up with household chores, women’s lives are more hectic than ever. Women often put everyone else in their family first, but it’s important that they take time for their own health.

Dr. “Dee” Prastein, heart surgeon at Lexington Cardiovascular Surgery, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about women and heart disease, encouraging all of us to “Just Say Know.”

Prastein_Labcoat_Standing_ORWhat differences have you noticed between men and women with heart disease?
Women tend to delay things, living with heart disease longer and presenting later. We see women who go about their routine chores while having chest pain or chest discomfort, ignoring or dismissing it. Sometimes they live with symptoms until they become so tired that they physically can’t do anything. It’s only then that they see a doctor.

What do women tell you about why they didn’t see a doctor sooner?
They seem to be focused on everyone except them. They put their families first. We see wives encouraging their husbands to see a doctor, but women often live with symptoms until they can no longer hide them.

How can heart surgery be different for men and women?
Women do really well with heart surgery because they seem to tolerate pain better than men. Also, older patients often tolerate pain better than younger ones.

How does smoking affect our hearts?
Nicotine causes hardening of the blood vessels, making them more stiff and narrow. That hardening of the arteries makes blockages more apparent sooner. You could say nicotine is the opposite of nitroglycerin, which allows blood vessels to become bigger.

What about diabetes?
With diabetes, high levels of sugar in your bloodstream allow the buildup of plaque in every blood vessel in your body, including the arteries in your heart.

What message do you have for women about heart disease?
I want women to know that it’s not normal to have no energy or to have chest discomfort such as pain or burning. If you do, see your doctor. Women who smoke, have a family history of heart disease or have diabetes should be especially careful. Don’t ignore symptoms. We can treat them and prevent a major heart attack.