A neurosurgeon deals with various surgical operations to do with the nervous system, which encompasses the spinal cord, brain, skull and peripheral nerves. They will play a part in both the operative and non-operative treatment of patients, ensuring that excellent patient care is offered. The operative techniques used by neurosurgeons are varied, including methods such as spinal fixation devices and minimally invasive surgery. A neurosurgeon would expect to perform surgery about four or five times a week. They will spend the rest of their working hours carrying out non-operative care, offering teaching tips to trainee neurosurgeons and dealing with patient paper work. This is a specialist area of surgical medicine in which you need to be of utmost professionalism.
The typical work activities conducted by a neurosurgeon include:
- Coming to a diagnosis through the use of tests such as physical examinations, x-rays and MRI scans.
- A neurosurgeon would need to deal with conditions such as brain tumours, spinal injuries and damage to the skull.
- A neurosurgeon would need to ensure patients understand the treatment process and are at ease with it.
- Collate and analyse patient records, as well as updating them.
- Perform operations under stressful conditions in which quick life changing decisions would need to be made.
- Working with outpatients to diagnose and treat their conditions.
- Perform surgical operations around four times a week.
- Will be on call for any medical emergencies.
- Study needs to be done throughout a neurosurgeon’s career in order to keep up-to-date with any new developments in the treatments of patients.
- Make sure hygiene levels are maintained.
- Work as part of a medical team.
- Carry out research into the area of neurosurgery and write papers on it.
- Nimbleness and practical skills will need to be maintained.
- Excellent level of rapport with patients to ensure they are cared for and at ease.
- Ability to teach upcoming neurosurgeons but also continue to learn yourself.
- A real desire to improve the lives of patients.
- Able to work as part of a team and as an individual.
- Truthful about your skills and drawbacks.
- Organised manner and able to upheld a great level of professionalism.
- A strong personality in order to lead a team during stressful times.
- A great level of interest in the profession of medicine.
- An aptitude for the sciences.