I am a note taker.
To say I love to take notes is not an exaggeration.
I take notes during meetings, just to remind myself what was said.
I take notes during classes, again to remind myself what was said.
I take notes to remind myself why a situation drove me a little crazy.
I take notes to remind myself to bring up a situation with management.
I take notes to remind myself that most things are funny, you just have to find the angle.
But today’s note reads,
“awkward conversations: meeting with nurses at a sister hospital with them asking about nurses they “lost” to my hospital. But I don’t know them. Bitten off comment OR nurses aren’t real nurses.”
This is a 200 bed hospital over 9 units, of course I don’t know everyone.
However, the latter half of the comment is what led me to pick it to discuss.
OR nurses aren’t real nurses.
We have patients, we give medication, we chart. What’s not real about that?
Oh, I don’t take care of patients through my entire shift.
I do. It’s just that my shift is a bunch of little shifts crammed into one.
I have patients that I have to care for. Yes, they are under anesthesia but not the entire time.
I also have to make sure that they are safe going under and waking from anesthesia.
I have to ensure that the surgeon has everything they need to operate on this particular patient.
I have to coordinate care across multiple disciplines: radiology, pharmacy, sometimes disciplines in my own department.
Every single patient represents an entire shift.
And the quicker surgeries, that just means that all the different aspects the OR shift have to happen, sometimes within 15 minutes.
Again and again and again.
Unfortunately this is a sentiment that is pervasive in hospitals.
OR nursing isn’t real nursing.
Alicia Silverstone said it best in Clueless.