COVID-19 Response 

Access our COVID-19 Response homepage, with more information and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what to do if you’re experiencing symptoms.

Weather Update

Baylor College of Medicine will be open Wednesday and Baylor Medicine will be seeing patients. Please prioritize your safety and take appropriate safety precautions if driving in any high water. View message. 

Department of Anesthesiology

Day in the Life: CA-1 at Ben Taub OR


Item Term
By Molly Kudela, M.D.

Item Definition

I arrive at Ben Taub between 6 and 6:15 a.m., change into a fresh pair of scrubs, drop my bag off in the resident lounge then head to pharmacy to grab my drugs for the first case.

On any particular day, I can be working with plastic surgery, ENT, orthopedics, general surgery, OMFS or gynecology. On select days, I might be paired with a CA-3 to do the cardiothoracic cases which requires extra time for set up, so I’ll get to Ben Taub between 5:30-5:45 a.m. Today, I’m in the ENT room and have a variety of cases: parotid lobectomy followed by tracheostomy for floor-of-the-mouth squamous cell carcinoma.

Once I’ve picked up my drugs, I head to the OR to set up the room. I complete my machine check, gather my airway equipment, and draw up my drugs. I briefly go over the cases for the day and review what my attending and I talked about the night before. After the room set up is done, I head to the pre-op holding area and greet my patient. The pre-op holding area is bustling with people before the first cases: OR nurses are completing their patient assessment and surgeons are marking laterality all while I work on placing an IV. My attending meets me in pre-op holding and we confirm the plan for the day. Once the OR is ready, I roll the patient back around 7:25 a.m. We timeout with the OR staff at 7:30 a.m. and get ready for induction and intubation.

Around 9 a.m. after incision, someone offers me my morning break. I handoff to the resident, attending or CRNA, and then head to the resident lounge for a morning snack and social time with other residents on break. However, 15 minutes fly by so fast, and I am quickly back in the OR. The first case takes about three hours. Once we have emerged and extubated the patient, I roll the patient to PACU and then prepare for our second case. I ask our anesthesia technicians to set up the fiber optic cart – we’re performing an asleep fiber optic intubation. Depending on the caseload for the day, I get relieved by the call team between 3-4 p.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I head to the Baylor campus for CA-1 lectures that start at 4 p.m. and last until between 5-6 p.m. Before lecture, I squeeze in a quick chart review for the next day’s assignments and call my attending to briefly discuss the plan for the next day. After lecture, I’m back home by 5:30-6:15 p.m., fit in a run or work out at the gym, eat dinner while watching my favorite Netflix show, and take one last look at tomorrow’s cases before I call it a day at 10 p.m.