Every moment is a ‘wow moment’ in robotic surgery
An unexpected opportunity landed Julie Delancey the role of a nurse in the operating room of UI Hospitals & Clinics. She’s never looked back.
Julie Delancey didn’t plan to work in an operating room (OR) when she first applied to UI Hospitals & Clinics, but it’s where she stayed, finding inspiration with robotic surgeries.
Working with robotics was very much not in her wheelhouse at first. A labor and delivery nurse for 14 years, the OR wasn’t even on her radar. But because she wanted a job with UI Health Care, a friend encouraged her to consider working with surgeons, both human and robotic.
“We have a huge array of opportunities to do different things every single day with different surgeons,” Delancey, RN, BSN says. “I never get bored at work.”
UI Health Care physicians were among the first surgeons in the world to perform and perfect certain surgical procedures using robotic tools.
From intimidated to initiated
Although she’s always loved the variety in her work, Delancey recalls the nerves she felt during the first surgeries she worked in when a robot was present.
“I remember being totally intimidated by the robot itself and what it is capable of,” she says.
But Delancey says she got over that fear because of the kind of support and training she received.
“Recently, I was orienting a new nurse and they said, ‘Ahhh, how do I drive this thing?’” she says. “So, I asked them, ‘What is your end goal with moving the robot?’ I reassure them in a calm manner and let them know that everybody will help get the robot where it needs to be.”
Delancey says the teamwork and compassion she sees from the surgeons and her fellow nurses is just as inspiring as the machines they work with.
“We fight for our patients. We are their advocates before, during, and after surgery,” she says. “I know our team is passionate and dedicated about what we do because I see it every day.”
Surgery can be transformative, both for the patient and the care team. In Delancey’s case, she says she’s amazed at the wonders they can perform in the OR, all in the name of caring for those who need them.
“We've gone through four generations of robots, and it's just so exciting to see that patients can come in, have minimally-invasive surgery, and not have big open abdominal surgeries,” Delancey says.
Surgeries like those performed with the various robots at UI Hospitals & Clinics often result in shorter recovery times and decrease the risk of infection.
Overall, Delancey is amazed by the act of surgery in itself. When she works alongside transplant surgeons, the wonder of replacing a struggling organ with a healthy one never escapes her.
“At the end of the case, it is always a wow moment. Just the transformation of a patient and how we can solve what is ailing them,” she says. “I am in awe almost every day."