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Behind Closed Doors
What Planet Are You From?
Paula Watkins
Publish Date: November 4, 2008   |  Tags:   Opinion

Did you ever wonder where those aliens you work with came from? One way or another, we're probably all some kind of space cadet traveling along our own interstellar paths. From my galaxy to yours, here's a quick guide.

  • The sun. Center of our solar system, much like the patient we're taking care of. Some of you have been led to believe that everything revolves around the surgeon, but remember, if it weren't for the patient, there wouldn't be much going on in the OR.
  • Mercury. The closest planet to the sun, though, would be the surgeon. Mercury's temperatures are variable and run both searingly hot and bitterly cold. Yep, that matches a few surgeons I've known.
  • Venus. Second closest planet to the sun, and research has shown it to be inhospitable to life. That's insurance, baby. Venus's rotation is slow like reimbursement. Those payors sure want their premiums on time, but are slow as Venus in paying back a claim.
  • Earth. The circulator, of course. Iron-clad at the core with a very warm heart. Weathers whatever nature (or the OR) doles out. While Earth's surface is 71 percent water, the circulator has learned through experience not to shed that liquid, whether that means no time for a bathroom break or a few tears. ?
  • The moon. The second brightest object in the Earth's sky, after the sun. Meet the anesthesia provider. Even though it has very little atmosphere of its own, it shares a strong relationship with the Earth, and even exerts a gravitational pull of its own. Both entities center their attention on the sun.
  • Mars. Maybe business departments view OR personnel as Martians, but personally I can't help but think of that book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Few scientists believe there is evidence of intelligent life here. If there was, or remotely is, no one has discovered it yet.
  • Jupiter. This has got to be the scrub tech, right? It's only the fourth brightest object in the Earth's sky, but it's at its brightest at night (when it's on call). It's really a massive presence in the solar system, or the OR, with a magnetic field 14 times that of Earth.
  • Saturn. Also known as "the pretty one" in the solar system and in the OR. Focus on her many moons — the clique of friends who think and behave as she does — and her icy rings, namely the diamond ring she's hoping to score from the married dope she's seeing on the side and the golden one that'll liberate her from this job she's not really into.
  • Uranus. Composed, in part, of methane gas. I'm going to let you fill in the blanks on this one.
  • Neptune. Let's say this is your co-worker who's always talking about some crazy diet to lose weight. It's a good thing for us that it's the eighth planet from the sun. The planet's magnetic field oddly orients and generates motion of conductive materials (which is probably water and whatever they ate for lunch) in its "middle layers."
  • Pluto. Up until 2006, it was the ninth planet from the sun. This can be no one else but the nursing student. It's so far from the sun, and it's in perpetual darkness as to what is really going on in the OR. Maybe someday it'll learn.