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Archive July 2016 XVII, No. 7

Behind Closed Doors: Channel Surfing

What if you could click away from a bad day?

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR


universal remote Would a universal remote help us to avoid tough situations, or just leave us easily dissatisfied with whichever ones we find ourselves in?

I used to carry a remote control made of foam rubber with me in surgery that I'd squeeze to help me deal with the stressful moments. When I was taking more than my fair share of trash from all sides, I'd pull out the rubber remote and press the buttons. When the surgeon asked what I was up to, I'd say, "I'm trying to find the button that mutes you." Not very professional, but it was a lot more professional than the words the surgeon was slinging at me. And I haven't stopped thinking about what it would be like to own a remote that lets you control your OR work day.

Let's see what's on
First off, I wouldn't even press the power button on a Monday. Who in their right mind would ever do that? If I were forced to show up, however, and the on-off button didn't work, I'd want to see the on-screen program guide. If this Monday looks anything like the last one, I sure don't want to sit through a rerun.

I click the button. In OR 1 we have eyes. I don't do eyes. That ophthalmic surgeon thinks his staff, scrub and circulator should all have PhDs to work on his cases. If I'm going back to school for anything, it's going to be for something fun, like making cupcakes.

Changing channels here, OR 2, please. It's ENT. Which means a morning of tiny patients. Screaming tiny patients. Plus mountains of specimen cups for tonsils, dozens of ear tubes to be documented and a surgeon who doesn't like me. Nope, not interested.

Click. Let's have a look at OR 3. Orthopedics! I like orthopedics. I like doing total joints. What's the first case? An arthroscopy. Uh, OK. On a shoulder. Hmmm. A whole day of shoulder arthroscopies. With fast turnovers. Hey, what else is on?

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