At the moment that healthcare is in, the tide is pushing travelers back to the hospital and to the units. I say tide because this has happened before, and the situation is cyclical. Just never on this scale. The hospitals are never going to recoup everyone that left during the covid craziness. Some people won’t come back because they have lost faith in the mission. And, after seeing that some sections of the public have branded the health and societal disaster that we all lived through as fake news, it is no wonder. Some healthcare workers found different jobs that they aspired to, and they are content. Some healthcare workers are still at home with their children because the childcare industry is going through its own seismic reverberations.
But hospitals need nurses and other healthcare workers. And so does the OR.
Welcome to this particular OR. Yeah, you’ve been through orientation, both from the hospital and the organization (because most hospitals belong to one). And you have gotten a tour of this OR and where things are.
Let me tell you where things really are.
Because the two, although related as this is the same space, are definitely worlds apart in actuality.
Get yourself a tour guide to the OR as it really is. This person can tell you where all the things really live, what to expect from different personalities that work there, what to expect from different personalities of the surgeons and physician assistants. Help you optimize the charting, help you set up the electronic health record so that it makes sense to you. Where to find all the hiding places that people use for themselves, and the clamps that are used in bed assembly.
Also, very important, tell you about the cliques that exist. Because this is still high school, despite all involved having been out of school and college graduated for years. And who is lazy and only wants to do their room’s work, never mind about the mountain of work that exists outside of the rooms.
And, as suggested by one of my coworkers, tell you where to poop during the shift. Because the bathroom is just stalls. Apparently, this is a thing that exists, and the knowledge may prove valuable.
And of utmost importance, who is a good sounding board to bounce ideas off of and who is a megaphone who will broadcast what is said in confidence to the entire department. And who is a vault, a black hole with empathy who won’t reveal what you told them but will offer support and guidance when needed.
And, in this particular OR, there is a chocolate locker where people bring chocolate in for everyone to share. Of course, it has a lock, some people weren’t donating to the locker but still helping themselves. This is the person with the combinations, they will give it to you with the understanding that sometimes you will kick in a bag of chocolates. The chocolates don’t have to be fancy; the OR will eat anything because the OR marches on its stomach. Also in the chocolate locker are over the counter medications; tylenol, ibuprofen, midol, naprosyn, migraine medications, aspirin, tums, lomitil, feminine products such as pads and tampons. And a Dammit Doll that you can use to vent frustration and anger on the walls and not use your fists.
Back to the clamps. You might think what if they put the clamps all in one place so that everyone can find them? Yeah, tried. People just like to have secret stashes.