Preconditions for Success
Stick to your normal coffee drinking habits. Coffee causes a slight tremor, but acute coffee withdrawal causes a worse one. Two factors that contribute even more to tremors are anxiety and strenuous manual exertion. Try to rest as much as you can prior to operating, and be sure to eat. Do not allow yourself to become irritated or discouraged, because this will affect your technical abilities. Strenuous activity such as heavy lifting, playing tennis, or even holding on to large retractors will make it difficult for you to use your small muscles precisely. Manual exertion should be avoided for at least 24 hours prior since it will leave a residual tremor. Don’t hold your breath while working, and don’t hold your body rigidly. Stay relaxed!
Ensure that all instruments are in excellent working condition, that their tips meet, and that they have the correct spring tension. Make sure they are not magnetized. Never allow the tips to touch another hard object, and avoid putting the tips down on a hard table. Keep them away from heavier instruments. Never grab a bunch of instruments and carry them together. Make a “basket” lined with heparinized saline gauze when you are in the OR.