Pull up a chair and let me tell you a story

  1. Pull up a chair, let me tell you about my week.

    I was explaining my week to my coworker who was out because his mother was very ill and he went home to be with her.

    Sunday: Call shift. This means I am available to work if there is need. I don’t make much for this but I don’t mind getting called in. There was a case, I called it in and went in to the hospital. Fifteen minutes after, as I was getting everything ready the phone rang and it was my scrub tech, who was on her way in to do the case. “I’ve been in an accident, Kate, I rolled my car.”

    My heart sank, everyone who takes call fears that accident, any accident really. I told her to call her husband and to be safe. I would call her back in a few minutes.

    Now I was without a tech, gotta have a tech. So I grabbed the employee list and started down the list, calling all the scrubs or nurses who can scrub who lived close by. A nurse consented to come in and do the 10 minute case with me.

    The scrub tech is okay.

    Monday: Busy, busy, busy. Lots of cases, not enough instruments. And my evening scrub tech, not the one with his mother, the other one, found out her open heart surgery was rescheduled from Wednesday to Friday.

    Wednesday: Ten minutes before end of shift, 10 lousy minutes, the fire alarm went off. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran. Yeah, fire in the closed cafeteria. Hm, guess that the sprinklers really do work. Breakfast is going to be late.

    Friday: My evening scrub tech had open heart surgery. I was tapped to be the information gatherer from the family. Not a problem, happy to do it.

    Saturday: MY PATIENT FUCKING CODED ON THE TABLE!!! That means that their heart stopped beating. Bowel loosening, knee knocking fear involved here.

    This is another fear that all OR nurses have. Why? Not only is the patient technically dead, there are only five people in the room: the anesthesia team, the surgeon, the scrub nurse (same one as last Sunday) and me, the circulator. 5. One to do chest compressions, one to guard their sterile field, the team to give life saving meds, and one to rush around getting more people to show up, grabbing the crash cart, which includes the shocky thingy (technical term, you understand).

    Normally, it takes at least 8 people to run the code.

    We had 5.

    But the patient survived.

    Go team.

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