To say that I have a ton of post-it dispatches is to minimize exactly how many I have.
I have been writing these little notes to myself for as long as I’ve been an OR nurse.
I have many, many, many to choose from.
Today I have a note from three years ago, when the hospital was deep in its Magnet preparation.
In the midst of the Magnet notes for myself about the reviewers is a small hand written “What keeps you up at night?”
What keeps me up at night?
The answer may be different for an OR nurse than a Med-Surg nurse. A Med-Surg nurse may be haunted by a med that was late, or a conversation with the patient.
These are not the things that haunt an OR nurse.
Or, at least, this OR nurse.
When I can’t sleep my brain gives me helpful images of awful cases, of times I let my mouth run before my brain.
Lately, I am reminded of the sharp words I give to coworkers, doctors and staff alike, to move the bed away from the OR table before raising the head of the bed.
Because often, the side rail has been snugged so close to the OR table that it is actually under the OR table.
And if the bed is raised, the OR table is raised off the ground.
One of our surgeons almost had a bed dropped on his foot for that exact reason.
I am often greeted with blank stares as they continue to raise the head of the bed, and the OR table continues to rise as well.
You bet I speak sharply to them, using simple, declarative sentences like “Stop.” Sentences designed to make them, you know, stop.
I inform them that the bed rail is wedged under the OR table and the OR table is being lifted.
Often the OR table gives way to gravity and drops down with a bang, startling them.
I have this conversation on the daily.
At night my brain imagines what would happen if I didn’t have this conversation all the time.
I imagine that a coworker will need to go to employee health, or the ED for treatment for their broken foot.
And I would feel guilty if I did give a warning.
So I do.