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Behind Closed Doors
From Our Beatlemaniac to You
Paula Watkins
Publish Date: October 10, 2007   |  Tags:   Opinion

There was a time when it might have seemed odd to associate musical selections with everyday activities in the OR, but that was before TV hospital-show soundtracks and surgeons who bring their iPods to surgery. I'm a Beatlemaniac myself. I may not sing well - I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it - but that's never stopped me from singing along, and I'm sending out some song dedications for my OR colleagues.

"Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody." This one goes out to the OR nurses assigned to cases that take at least an hour to set up and are never pulled correctly. Plus, you find you're on your own when it's time to position the 400-pound patient.

"Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it feels as though they're here to stay." I wasn't assigned to this endoscopic abdominal aortic aneurysm repair when I left here yesterday, that's for sure.

"I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello." That's your supervisor, asking you to stay over - for the third time this week.

"If there's anything that you want, if there's anything I can do..." I'm your circulator. I'm here until 2300. I need to lose about 10 pounds. So bring it on.

"What would you think if I sang out of tune?" Would you turn that racket that you call music off? I'm too old for hip-hop and so are you.

"Listen, do you want to know a secret?" There is gossip swirling around every OR. If you don't think it's going on in yours, then obviously everyone's talking about you.

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..." To the patient undergoing general anesthesia: Pick out a good dream, you're about to get very sleepy.

"It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log." There's nothing like attending an emergency gall bladder at 2 a.m. that's been in the ER since 10 a.m. yesterday.

"Try to see it my way. Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?" Arguing over techniques with a peer who thinks she knows it all.

"She was a day tripper, a one-way ticket, yeah." To that colleague I relieved for lunch who never came back to finish her case. Sugar, I've got your ticket right here.

"The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds and bees. Now give me money (that's what I want)..." Sure, job satisfaction means a lot to a nurse, but as an administrator, you should understand the importance of the bottom line. (In other words, do I get a raise?)

"[There's] nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game. It's easy..." Some of your peers may have learned how to suck up to Dr. McAwful.

"There are places I'll remember...in my life, I've loved them all." To my colleagues in Hutchinson, Kan., with whom I've worked the ORs over the last several months. Thanks for the memories.