In the OR we are very focused on the patient on the table.
Everything we do is for them.
We breathe for them.
We move for them.
We make sure everything is counted before closing for them.
Our entire focus is on them.
But what about the family in the waiting room?
Their loved one is back behind closed doors.
They have to trust that the medical team will do their job.
On keeping them breathing and their heart beating.
On moving them in a safe manner.
On positioning them safely for a case that needs positioning.
That the OR team will do their counts.
When I am prepping a patient for urgent surgery on call, I have a specific talk I give the family that will be waiting.
If the phone rings, it will be for you.
It will be the update from the OR team that you are waiting for.
It will be the update from PACU with their room assignment.
It might be the surgeon to go over the surgery with you.
All very important updates that we want you to have.
But you have to pick up the phone.
I know, it’s creepy to pick up a phone that is not yours.
But do it.
Waiting is the hardest job in the OR.
Don’t make your wait longer by not answering the phone or being in the waiting room.