Archive June 2018 XIX, No. 6

Behind Closed Doors: Do You Recognize These Disney Villains?

These animated characters are probably acting out in your ORs.

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR


Almost every Disney villain cast member I saw on my recent trip to Disney World reminded me of an OR character I know.

  • Gaston (Beauty and the Beast). Some plastic surgeons have this blinding narcissistic presence. Nurses flock around them cooing and batting their eyelashes, not because of what they look like, but because of what they can do for them for a reasonable price (if not for free). I don't care how much Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo you throw at them, most of these doctors are frogs, not princes.
  • Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland). We all know a scrub tech who considers herself the work wife of the surgeon she's worked with for 10 years. She comes in when she's sick and only takes her vacations when he does. Other techs can't learn the doc's routine. She'll hide things or set them up for failure. Circulators are safe as long as her doc doesn't pay them too much attention. Come between her and her surgeon and it will be "off with your head."
  • Mother Gothel (Tangled). This is the manager who blocks a talented young nurse from leaving by making empty promises — "I want to groom and mentor you to take my place when I retire" — and by doling out just enough responsibilities to keep Nurse Rapunzel hanging on, but never enough to get her much further than she is.
  • Lion
  • Scar (The Lion King). Two nurses biting and clawing for the manager's position that's just opened. One nurse has been at the facility for 10 years and knows it inside and out. The other nurse is new to the organization, but has more degrees than Kissinger. They both can't wait to be king/queen.
  • Drizella and Anastasia Tremaine (Cinderella). Two scrub techs I worked with 10 years ago were the wicked stepsisters incarnate. After working with them for a month, Drizella came to me and told me she had decided to trust me. I'm sure there was a huge question mark on my face. She continued to tell me that she and Anastasia had made up some gossip when I first came to see if I would pass it along. Even though I didn't care about the gossip and had no idea who they were talking about, I had proved myself worthy of their trust and they would make sure all the cases I did with them went smoothly.
  • Jafar (Aladdin). I had a young nurse's dream job — manager of a surgery center. From groundbreaking to knowing which company had the best Adson-Brown forceps, I did it all. I worked 12-hour days and loved it. Then in walks a consultant, Jafar.

Every experienced OR nurse knows when your facility hires a consultant, things will change drastically. Heads will roll. Thus Jafar wanted to have me replaced as well as a few key people. Soon he had the Sultan's (surgeon's) ear. Actually, 16 Sultans. Owners of the business. I decided to gracefully bow out than to be asked to leave. I gave a month's notice and proceeded to work with the Sultans on how things were done, where things were kept and everything I had on my computer. I loved the Sultans. They were good to me. And because they were, before I left, I met with the head Sultan and told him what Jafar was doing with records and money along with dates, times and names. I walked out with dignity and my ethics. Jafar? Well, let's just say he left in the black wicked lamp he arrived in. OSM

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