Behind Closed Doors: Creatures of the OR


Which animal are you? Your staff?

I’ve worked in the surgery for so long I can see the resemblance of my OR peeps to certain animals. Which ones do you resemble?

• Dogs. No matter how they are treated, they still wag their tails and appear so glad to see you. They get yelled at and still look for that pat on the head. Give some help in that room, and they will jump all over the place with joy to see you almost wagging their tail off and saying thank you.

• Cats. They behave with confidence and self-assurance. They have what you need. If they don’t, they will purr and rub against your over-inflated ego while distracting you into thinking you do have everything. Don’t yell at them. They will simply fluff up their fur while hissing and showing you their claws.

• Turtles. It’s impossible to make them get in a hurry. It’s best to assign them in the rooms with the longest cases. They will have what you need. Yelling at them will just make them recede into their shell.

• Birds. Their feathers get ruffled about everything, and they’re always squawking. If you need something, you can find it in their nest. Best to go looking when they’re out flapping their wings around. They will peck your eyes out.

• Rats. A thief — particularly if it’s bright and shiny and new. Your room missing something? It’s in the Rat’s room. If they need something they didn’t know ahead of time, they will paw through the stock in your cabinets. They could go to the supply room just as easily as you. The least they could do would be to ask you for what they need.

• Horses. They’ll work until they drop. They don’t complain. Just put them in a room with blinders on and let them go. If they do get sidetracked, just pull a little bit on their reins and they’ll get right back to toeing the line and lifting that bale without complaint.

• Cheetahs. Known for their speed and agility to get things done, cheetahs move with precision. Give them something to chase and they will wear themselves out, or finally lose interest. If you have one in your department hang on to them; they are an endangered species.

• Lions. They’re most active in the evening, which makes them good on the 3-11 or 11-7 shifts. Lions prefer to work in a group as the leader or in the charge position, and like to mark their territory to new staff. They strut around like kings/queens of the OR.

• Sheep. They always graze on their food long after their break is over. Sheep don’t like to be alone. They are followers and will not challenge authority. They also can’t make an independent decision.

• Red foxes. A smart, crafty and cunning worker. Foxes figure out the best and easiest way to get something done. They are not lazy but prefer the less work the better. The fox isn’t there to make friends. Adapts very well to their surroundings.

• Sloths. I thought turtles were slow. Sloths are nocturnal, which makes them great for the 7p to 7a shift. With them being so slow, it’s not often they need a bathroom break. No worries, they only go to the bathroom every six days. They seem to have a perpetual smile and are very docile.

When you’re in the room with the Sloth and have some time, look out over the department and observe what you see. We work in a zoo, so take a walk on the wild side. OSM

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