Archive April 2018 XIX, No. 4

Behind Closed Doors: Practical Jokers

Nothing's more fun than pulling a good prank on your co-workers.

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR


Surgery is serious business, yes, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun on the job. I assure you that no patients were harmed in the pulling of these 4 sophomoric pranks.

· False alarm. A first assist who has a knack for voice impersonations mimicked me and my Arkansas drawl calling for turnover help on our overhead paging system. All of a sudden, the door to my OR suite opened and 2 orderlies came barreling in with a mop and stretcher. The room's inhabitants all looked up at the same time. The poor orderlies stopped dead in their tracks, then slowly backed out and closed the door quietly. Fortunately, the surgeon had a good sense of humor.

Robin at Window

· Thump. Our ORs have 2 doors, a main entrance and another that goes into a substerile room and then exits into the hall. We prefer people use the substerile entrance, but sometimes a case warrants a "do not enter" and we lock that door. But people get in a hurry about something and they forget. They hit the door at a pretty good clip and the locked door makes a fairly loud thud. "Wow," I said, "doesn't that sound like a bird hitting a glass patio door?" Now, when someone hits the locked door, all we have to do is look at each other and we crack up.

· Caution: wet floor. The restrooms in the dressing room are so far away from the OR suites that it'll take you more than a few minutes to go to the bathroom and get back to the room. Some architect in his infinite wisdom saw this and included 2 bi-gender bathrooms in the OR hall. After hoofing it relentlessly in a 8 plus-hour shift, Kate, one of the techs, had to go really bad. So she sneaked off (so she thought) to use one of the bathrooms in the OR hall. That's when an orderly seized his opportunity. Once Kate locked the door, he counted to 10 and then poured about a half a bucket of clean mop water under the door. Kate could be heard yelling clear down the hall. The orderly knew he'd have to clean it up, but the situation was just too tempting to resist.

Double door

· Wrong door. The OR suite had your standard double-door system. One of our scrub techs put a use other door sign on each door. Poor Mary, a nurse who was as sweet as could be but a little slow on the uptake, became so confused that she forgot why she needed to come in the room. Mr. Scrub Tech laughed about that for weeks.

Prankster payback

If someone pulls a prank on you, here's how to get your revenge. Hook a Foley catheter to a 3000-ml bag of saline and rig it so that it'll soak the prankster when he opens his locker door. Just be on guard after that. OSM

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