Sunday Post-it 6/26/22- Stickerectomy

The gown card reads ‘stickerectomy.’

That’s it.

One word.

-ecomy is the removal of.

Stickerectomy is the removal of stickers.

In this instance, it refers to the removal of the excessive amount of EKG stickers on a chest. These stickers are usually placed in the ER for monitoring.

And sometimes the ER uses the EKG monitor in the room in place of a 12-lead EKG machine. This gives the treating physician information about the electrical activity of the heart. And this information tells the physician, and the nurse who has gained knowledge about EKG, about how the heart is doing.

I’m not sure if you know this but the heart is integral to the human condition.

Of course, in my quest to know all the things I have done classes and extensive reading on the EKG squiggles. And this was useful when I was an EKG tech while I was in nursing school.

But once the test is done, or the results have been interpreted by the doc, the stickers are left on.

Sometimes this is useful. Especially if there needs to be another read later after an intervention such as medication has been given. But that’s it.

And sometimes the EKG stickers are ones that the ambulance uses. You can always tell those at my hospital as they are different color and shape than the ones that are routinely used in the hospital. Even if the patient has outside of ER stickers they are not usually in the correct place and so extra stickers are placed on.

And the stickers remain on. They pull a bit when being removed and patients may object to it, especially if they have been placed over chest hair.

Once a patient is under anesthesia in the OR I make a point of removing all the extra stickers. Of doing a stickerectomy. The most I have removed prior to a surgery was 26. It was a combination of ambulance and hospital stickers.

Remove the extra stickers. They are probably going to be in the way, especially for a belly case. And the patient definitely doesn’t need to go home with them.

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