Outpatient Surgery Magazine


Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 83 of 83

8 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 T here are nurses, and then there are operating room nurs- es, those masked crusaders infused with a special blend of smarts, savvy and strength to stand up for patients and to stand up to surgeons. Surgical nurses are a breed apart. I can pick one out of a crowd. In case there were ever a doubt, here are sure signs you're an OR nurse. • There are 2 pens and a pair of bandage scissors in the pock- et of whatever you're wearing. • There's a box of disposable gloves and masks in your car con- sole, and an airway pocket face mask in the glove compartment. • You wear gloves to change your baby grand- daughter's diapers. You Purell even before you glove up and after you glove down. Then you have a panic attack while trying to resist doing a 3-minute scrub. • You think about turnover time when the cars in front of you don't move the instant the red light has turned green. "It doesn't get any greener!" • You gulp down food like it's your last meal, which is a strong possibility working in the OR. • Your mind goes to thinking about who all sat before you with their soiled sweaty scrubs in the nice massage chair that administration (bless their hearts) presented to your depart- ment. Where are those Clorox Wipes? • You've mastered the art of the 15- minute break — go to the bathroom, drink some water, eat something and check your phone — but you wonder how smokers get all those essentials done, and still find time to fire up a heater in their secret designated smok- ing area in your smoke-free campus. • You've organized your dresser draw- ers like the medication carts and supply cabinets at work: newest items to the back and older items to the front. You do out- dates, and try to keep a par level of 2 for most things. You front things in your drawers. You know, the just-washed things under the items that You Might Be an OR Nurse If … Sure signs that you work in surgery. Behind Closed Doors Paula Watkins, RN were done yesterday. You also sort your closet by color and size. • The "5-Second Rule" never applies in your world. Ever. I've observed lay- people drop a bite of food, pick it up, look at it, blow and then gobble it right down. As long as they picked the food off the floor within 5 seconds, they think bacteria didn't have time to transfer to the food. I have gasped in horror to watch a mother pick up a dropped paci- fier, swirl it around in her mouth, and then put it back in the baby's mouth. In my OCD world, there is no 5-Second Rule anywhere for anything. I won't even eat that which has fallen on my counter at home, much less on my own floor. • Your blood runs cold when you see someone touching dirty scrubs other than their own with their bare hands. Sometimes touching the scrubs I've had on for the last 8 to 10 hours seems to be a little dodgy to me. • You want to yank the person sitting on a clean empty patient's bed in the hall off and throw him to the floor. Calls to mind a nurse who sat on a clean post-op patient's bed like she was sitting on a parade float waving to the crowd while the orderly pushed her to the patient's room. • You look in horror at someone lick- ing her fingers to turn a page. Nail biters also gives me the heebie-jeebies. You know they don't Purell or scrub their hands before sticking their fingers in their mouths. OSM Contact Ms. Watkins at pwatkins12@comcast.net.

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