Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Future of Knee Repair - February 2016 - Subscribe to 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 163 of 164

1 6 4 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Behind Closed Doors Paula Watkins, RN, CNOR Surgical Nursing Is More Than a Job It defines us, which makes the prospect of stepping down so scary. T hey say that your job doesn't define who you are, but when you're an OR nurse it most certainly does. Surgical nursing isn't just what we do, it's how we live. What would you be like without that identity? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Long story short: My knee was constantly cranky, so I took it to my favorite orthopedist for an injec- tion. The X-rays said I was due for a little arthro- scopic fix. Been there, done that, I'd rehab over the holidays and be good as new. Except this time there was nothing to fix. I've got bone on bone in there. My doc scoped it and closed it right back up. A week later, in his office, he told me I've got a knee replacement in my future. I asked, "What if I don't do the total knee?" He replied, "Then, Paula, you need to start looking into nursing jobs outside of the OR." Our sense of identity That's not right, I thought. I work knee replacement surgeries, I don't get them. It's not the prospect of surgery that upset me, or the pain of recovery or even the scar. It was being told that if I don't go through with this, I won't physically be able to be myself — a surgical nurse — anymore. The OR has made me who I am today. Ever since my school days (with my classmate, Florence Nightingale), it's where I've wanted to be. It's thickened my skin, validated my sense of humor, instilled a lifelong passion and given me the opportunity to teach. The OR is a place where we communicate with our eyes over the mask, know a • BEYOND THE BADGE Our occupations make up a large part of our chosen identities.

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