Thursday, June 14, 2018
Time Out - I Contaminated my Gown
What happened to the sacred tiled temples that were once ORs? Modern ORs have sacrificed their penthouse location to practically anywhere in the hospital and worse yet resemble a waiting room at the Greyhound station. Valued work areas have been converted to electronic warehouses with enough computerized doo dads to land a 747 in a whiteout.
The above illustration is the latest iteration in a long line of befuddling situations. When I initially laid eyes on this young, scrubbed whippersnappern I had that weird feeling that totally smacked my gob, (see, I can talk like a youngster if I try real hard.) She just contaminated her right hand by elevating it well out of the accepted zone of sterility. Everyone knows that the sterile part of a gown is restricted to below the armpits and above the waist tie-NO EXCEPTIONS. If Alice, my favorite OR supervisor were on the scene she would be swinging her sponge stick like a baseball bat at this poor nurse's knuckles. Breaks in sterile technique earned the most severe knuckle bashing and I can almost see Alice winding up like Mickey Mantle at the plate.
I educated myself about the situation and learned this nurse is calling for a "time out," which probably means she recognized the error in her ways and wants a sleeve and a new glove from the circulator. Asking for a sleeve to cover the contaminated section of a gown was a humbling experience because it required the assistance from a sterile member of the surgical team. A surgeon helping a scrub nurse provided ample fodder for endless jokes. Dr. Slambow, my general surgeon hero usually made the nurse step away from her Mayo stand and assist with the surgery while he assumed scrub nurse duties to demonstrate the correct way of doing things.
There are a couple of other issues with the way this nurse is conducting her duties, but I think I'll let my esteemed readers point them out.