Archive September 2018 XIX, No. 9

Behind Closed Doors: Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Am I the only one who notices this stuff?

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR


WITCHCRAFT Despite outward appearances, Paula's not really wicked.

It’s official. Minus the support hose, I’ve become one of those old, cranky OR nurses that gave me the heebie jeebies when I was a young RN. I have a Lady Gaga gothic look that scares small children (that’s me, Paula the Good Witch, in the picture) and intimidates OR staff when they first meet me. But don’t cry for me. I use my villainous visage on surgeons and anesthetists when they push me too far. I thought maybe I needed to check into getting Botox — until I started seeing it used on rectums, prostates and bladders. It seems something going into your southern region should not be going into the face. Remember the rumor going around that Preparation H hemorrhoidal cream was good for wrinkles. Think I’ll keep my cranky look ... then smile when I turn my back on them.

. . .

Doing GI, you get your fill of code browns from incomplete bowel preps. But then you walk into the lounge to eat your lunch, and the smell of someone’s goulash bubbling in the microwave smells worse than any code brown. What the heck are they eating?

. . .

So, I hit a surgeon in the nose. With his phone. I swear it was an accident. He’s a surgeon I happen to like. He was on call. You know, his phone is burning up from all these people calling for one thing or another and I’m expected to answer it. On the 4th call in 15 minutes, I can’t understand a thing this woman is saying and between me asking her to repeat herself over and over and him getting irritated, I’m stuck being a relay station. I finally just stretch my arm out so he can talk to her himself and BAM! the phone jumps out there past my hand, hitting his glasses and driving them right into nose. I said I was sorry-sorry-sorry 20 times and prayed I didn’t draw blood. My history is hitting surgeons in the head with lights. Looks like I’m adding “phone to the nose” to my repertoire of assault and battery.

. . .

A nurse was struggling to steer an uncooperative stretcher down a hallway crowded with coworkers staring at a monitor of cases. Why do we do that? Like staring at them was going to make them go away. Anyway, a coworker backs up into the path of the oncoming stretcher. “Whoa,” the stretcher-pusher says, “that’s a good way to lose a toe there.” You should have seen the look on her face when she realized that the patient on the stretcher was there for a toe amputation.

. . .

When left alone to their ADHD ways, young surgeons are all over the place like a Jack Russell terrier. Pushing all kinds of buttons on instruments and equipment, and then looking to the scrub or circulator to fix the screwup. I have to control myself from rolling up their H & P and whomping them on the nose. (I seem to be on a nose kick.)

. . .

How many appendix and gall bladders you have to do to before you run out of people to do them on?

. . .

A tech was trying really hard to get the exact length between 2 drill bits for the surgeon. Sorta like which one was “just right.” He said that the one in his left hand was slightly longer. Being the person that I am, who uses words like scoatch and smidgen, I asked him how he measures slightly. “You eyeball it,” he told me. Hmmm. OSM

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