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Archive January 2019 XX, No. 1

Behind Closed Doors

You Might Be an OR Nurse If...

1. You're certain that the surgeon you worked with today uses his personality as birth control.

2. You really think the best photograph of yourself lately is the one on your ID badge.

3. Your cabinet at home has more of those blue containers left over from sterile packs than it has dishes. (They've even replaced the butter containers.)

4. When you're bathing or showering, you start from the center and wash out, like you do on a prep.

5. You do a better shave prep on the patient than you do on your own areas that need a shave.

6. You'd rather get 15 minutes more sleep than put on makeup or fix your hair before going to work. (Besides, the cap and mask hide a lot — and whom are you trying to impress anyway?)

7. You know that wearing the cap and mask is going to hide your identity, so when you face this patient at Wal-Mart, he isn't going to know who you are and try to talk to you.

8. You insist your phone service plan has caller I.D. on every phone. That's the first thing you check at 0630 when the phone rings on your day off.


9. You always write RN after your signature — on your credit card receipt, your checks and the speeding ticket you got coming in on call.

10. You think that the vending machine in the lounge should have Prozac right next to the chocolate bars.

11. You believe that all patients should be put to sleep, and as soon as possible.

12. Unless you're old enough to know better, you still think you might marry a surgeon.

13. You can actually look at a naked (that's necked here in the South) body and you really do think "parts is parts."

14. You can eat things like that "green stuff" in that blue bowel that's been in the lounge refrigerator for more than a week, and not get sick. You might even ask around for the recipe.


15. You can look at an adult circumcision wrapped in Coban and think "Hmm ... it does looks like a Doberman pinscher's ear."

16. You're finding that the multiple pairs of scrubs at home are slowly replacing your other clothes and you're actually taking them on trips with you as loungewear.

17. You save PTO's/vacation time and every penny to go to the annual AORN meeting somewhere far away, and prefer this to going on trips with the family.

18. Sexual harassment? All these years you thought sexual innuendos, bawdy jokes and remarks about your anatomy was normal OR conversation.

19. You believe that "a chance to cut is a chance to cure."

20. You believe that the size of the patient is in direct proportion to how long you're going to have to stand beside that surgeon holding those retractors with his elbow constantly hitting you in the breast.

21. You haven't worked in the OR for a while, and you come back and find that the smell of a burning cautery stimulates fond memories.

22. The CDC or OSHA classify your OR shoes as a biohazard.

23. You can look at a tissue specimen and start to plan what you're going to cook for supper that night.

24. You can retrieve a pager or cell phone attached to the surgeon under his sterile gown and never so much as think about where you're putting your hands. His parts is just parts, too.

25. You go home and realize you haven't been to the bathroom all day. Your bladder has the capacity of an elephant's.

26. You know how a situation is going by which four-letter words you hear in the OR: oops, uh-oh and two others we can't print that are usually preceded by either "Ah, #@*%" or "Oh, &!%$." OSM

Editor's note: "You Might Be an OR Nurse If ..." originally appeared in our July 2005 issue. Paula Watkins, RN, will be back with a new "Behind Closed Doors" column next month.

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