One of my most popular posts from the past was about items I never, ever want to see on my OR back table. https://oldfoolrn.blogspot.com/2017/01/not-on-my-back-table.html. Scrub nurses work at ( or least they did 50 years ago) from two horizontal surfaces. A large back table at the foot of the patient which is loaded with just about anything and everything needed for the surgery and the Mayo stand placed over the patient just below site of the surgery. This stand is solely for the instruments in immediate use. I've seen some illustrations of Mayo stands that really flustercate my fragile foolish faculties, so here are some thoughts about the care and feeding of Mayo stands from a perspective of many moons ago. (I had to put that disclaimer in because some folks compare my ramblings to contemporary standards and I get harshly critical emails.)
Side hanging instruments as shown in this illustration desecrate one of the most basic of OR commandments - Thou shall not let any instrument dangle over the edges of your Mayo stand. The outer ridge of the stand acts like a fulcrum sending your instrument flying if you inadvertently drop an elbow during a critical moment. Flying instruments, depending on where they land, are never a good thing in an OR. A nasty surgeon once lobbed a Haney clamp at me and then in a Karma driven moment, dropped a weighted speculum on his foot. Yes...there is a flying instrument god in every OR.
I started this post out thinking that maybe I should do the ten commandments of Mayo stands, but that sounds cliched and besides, what happens if I can't think of ten? Maybe it's better if I just ramble on in in my typical foolish manner.
When in use, Mayo stands should always be at the scrub nurse's waist. A uniform height helps establish muscle memory so that when you go to grab something, your hand goes to the intended spot without thinking. Many nurses need some altitude enhancement to reach the correct height and I went out of my way to construct elaborate altitude enhancing arrangements. oldfoolrn: Scrub Nurses Flying High