Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Behind Closed Doors: Amusing Musings

Questions answered and answers questioned about life in the OR.

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR


SIGN LANGUAGE Why are there Braille signs outside every OR?

How did the coroner know he was examining an OR nurse? Three dead (ha!) giveaways: an empty stomach, a 3,000 ml extended bladder and bilateral bitemarks on her butt. The joints held more clues: bone-on-bone knees, frozen shoulder, knobby knuckles and carpal tunnel syndrome. There were also deep bite teeth marks in the tongue, likely from the nurse biting it to keep from telling a lot of people to "get" off.

Yep, that sounds about right.

. . .

I know we need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but I still don't get why we have to mount a tactile Braille sign displaying the room number outside each OR. Do we have sight-challenged staff working in the OR? If so, doesn't the charting need to be in Braille?

And what about the restroom in the female locker room? One of the stalls is wheelchair-accessible, but you can't get to the wheelchair-accessible restroom because the poorly designed dressing room makes it wheelchair-impossible.

. . .

BEEP-BEEP Watch your step — stretcher coming through!

Our facility's nice wide hallways turn into mean one-way streets when they become crowded with double-parked equipment, case carts, implant carts and bags of trash not yet taken out to the dumpster out back. Wheeling a patient on a stretcher to or from the OR is like playing demolition derby. Wham!!! I get points for everything and every person I take out.

. . .

I love it when a surgeon throws a major temper tantrum for a piece of equipment he's just got to have. Even though budgets are stretched tighter than shrink-wrap, the hospital lets the baby have the newest and greatest toy. The CFO doesn't know what the Magical Machine does, only that it's expensive and that it's got to be good if the surgeon feels so strongly about it. Besides, the other 2 hospitals in town have them in their operating rooms. Actually, it's sitting cold in the equipment room, along with all the other unused toys from tantrums past.

. . .

I was trying to give some Dextrose 50% to the scrub tech. I don't know how the bottle malfunctioned or how it didn't contaminate the field, but I do know that when Dextrose spills down your sleeve and on to your skin, it's very sticky. And it pretty much stays sticky throughout an hour-long case.

. . .

We had a traveler come to our facility. He was young and new in the career of nursing. In a surgery center, you do it all. There's none of this, "I don't do that. I'm a nurse. That's not what I went to school to do." I just looked over the edge of my mask and raised my eyebrows. "Oh, really?" I said. "When I clean up this patient and get him on the stretcher to go to the recovery room, let's get together with your company and visit for a while." OSM

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