Archive July 2019 XX, No. 7

Behind Closed Doors: What's on the Menu for Breakfast?

Bacon and eggs got me thinking of the people I work with in the OR.

Paula Watkins

Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR

BIO

eggs

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I'd rather sleep a few minutes longer than make bacon and eggs or eat cereal that changes the color of my milk. Besides, breakfast is only worth having when somebody else makes it for you. I'll just gulp down something while driving to work, like a quick, delicious and filling chocolate SlimFast. Yummmm. Some days my co-workers remind me of breakfast items.

  • Sunny-side up. Undercooked and needs more experience. That's everyone at one time or another starting out in a new OR or with a new surgeon. Stick a fork in that delight and you'll need lots of stuff and help to stop the running everywhere that you're going to have to do.
  • Scrambled. Your field looks to be a scrambled-up mess. There are instruments on the patient, on the table and on the floor. Where are all your sponges? I know I gave you at least 20. I don't know which is worse: this scrambled-up mess or the sunny-side up disaster.
  • Hard-boiled. Your surly circulator who's been doing this for 40 years. She's had her fair share of sunny and scrambled surgeons. Just as an egg is boiled until the white and the yolk are solid, a hard-boiled person is roiled until tough and cynical.
  • Omelets. Organized and all together. Meat, eggs and whatever extra you might want and need, it's in the room. You got a great scrub.
  • Egg whites. Where's the joy and satisfaction in having this? What's the point in doing this procedure in an OR? With a little local, you can stick, prick and dress this in the office. Treat it and street it. Bam! Ten minutes.
  • Bacon. Wimpy and limpy describes a student on the first day in the surgery rotation. Firm and crispy describes a scrub tech or circulator ready to do it all the first day after orientation.
  • Sausage patty. Experienced with a little spice that can go head to head with whatever happens to the egg. It's also flexible enough to mix it up with different procedures.
  • Sausage link. The shift leader linking a tech and circulator with a specific surgeon to get the case done and "outta" here.
  • Ham. Works nicely with Dr. Red Eye Gravy. Some staff also like to ham it up when boasting about all they've done and seen.
  • Toast. The sopper-upper of all things runny. Or it's you (You're toast!) when it's your fault that everything is runny. Think charred or burnt.
  • Biscuits. As in flaky. The new old nurse looking for her new ex-husband is about as real as a roll of compressed dough that you just pop in the oven. She's got her sights on an anesthesiologist, and the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon. Can't find her? Look where Dr. Doing-His-Job is and you'll find her.
  • Pancakes. Sometimes it only takes a short stack to get that overwhelming case done. I'll pour all the maple syrup gratitude I can thanking them for getting me out of the sunny-side up and scrambled mess.

Best part of waking up

I might rethink skipping a good breakfast during the work week. I can't go walking into the proverbial lion's den of the OR lightly. I need to start with a good breakfast. And at least 2 cups of coffee to make me fit to work with. OSM

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