During the summer of 2019, I received a grant from the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentorship (PURM) program to conduct research with Dr. Prakash A. Patel, a cardiovascular anesthesiologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), concerning patient satisfaction with anesthetic care during transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). For a significant time, the standard for procedures such as these was to utilize general anesthesia to perform the TAVR. There were drawbacks to this method, with the primary consequence being a longer recovery for the patient following the procedure. In recent history though, monitored anesthesia care (MAC), in which the patient is put into a twilight sedated state, has become the norm for the procedure due to its quickened recovery time and better outcomes. MAC allows patients to have varying levels of consciousness while sustaining respiratory function. While there are many benefits to this protocol, few have looked into patient’s experience with this new sedation approach.
The goal of my project was to assess patient satisfaction and take note of any feedback they had toward the MAC approach in TAVR performed via a percutaneous femoral approach.
This project required a knowledge of the hospital’s charting system and operating room (OR) schedule, as well as an idea of the layout of the hospital to locate patients. In addition, it required that I learn the process of Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposal drafting and submission, as well as development of survey tools and database creation/utilization to collect, store, and analyze data.
One of the most valuable aspects of this research experience was the real view it gave into the realm of medicine and life working in a healthcare setting. There were a number of opportunities to enter the OR and watch surgeries being performed, in which I gained educational guidance from surgeons and anesthesiologists alike about the field of cardiovascular surgery. Outside of the OR, the experience consisted heavily of conversing with the nursing staff and interacting and laughing with the patients to learn about their experiences, not only during the surgery, but in life.
The project not only allowed me to look deeper into the world of healthcare, but further reinforce it as the path I wish to follow in life. Equally as important, the project provided me with an invaluable mentor in Dr. Patel, who I plan to continue working and conversing with as the summer ends and the semester begins. Continuation of this project through the Fall will allow me to prepare a final abstract, create a poster, and present my findings at a national conference. I cannot thank Dr. Patel, the Department of Anesthesiology, and PURM enough for providing me such a wonderful opportunity to work towards my future career goals.