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Behind Closed Doors
Wild Kingdom of the OR
Paula Watkins
Publish Date: September 4, 2008   |  Tags:   Opinion

I've heard it said that if you're around pets for long enough, you begin to look or act like them. Heaven knows I've worked with some nurses in my time who've shown interesting resemblances to members of the animal kingdom.

  • Dog nurses are loyal to a fault. No matter how they're treated, they're always happy to see you and eager to please. Even just a pat on the head gives them the reward they're looking for from the alpha dog in the OR.
  • Independent and sure of themselves, cat nurses move confidently in the knowledge that you have everything you need for your case. Even if you don't, the purring and rubbing up against your ego might distract you into thinking you do.
  • Bird nurses squawk about everything, their tail feathers always in a ruffle. They have a nest of personal items, extra supplies and equipment stored away for cases in their rooms. They're also known to sing to the powers that be if something's amiss in the surgical suite.
  • Fish nurses swim around and around in their own little world, looking for a way out. If they manage to escape, they find themselves drowning in an environment they weren't expecting. If they don't go belly-up, they're returned to the familiar and pick up where they left off.
  • It is impossible to make turtle nurses hurry, no matter what the situation calls for. When faced with challenging or undesirable situations, they withdraw until there's nothing left of them but a shell.
  • Rat nurses are thieves. They're always swiping equipment from your room and never returning it. They also paw through the supplies you've pulled for a case when they find out at the last minute they've forgotten something.
  • Hamster nurses spin on their wheels and never get anywhere in terms of work. They always appear to be the busiest nurses in the whole department, but on closer observation you'll see they've accomplished very little in their eight hours.
  • In times of conflict, chameleon nurses change color with the prevailing opinion. They never have any original thoughts of their own, choosing instead to match the side with the most power.
  • Honeybee nurses are sweet: So sweet, you could get tooth decay just from talking to them. But beware! They're usually flitting around spreading pollen to blossom their careers. Should you cross their paths or obstruct their plans, you'll get stung.
  • Horse nurses work till they drop, without complaints. Put blinders on them and they'll only see what's in front of them. If you want them to move faster, a little verbal whip will get them running with whatever you give them.
  • You can't tell stubborn donkey nurses anything, even when it's to their advantage to listen. They're always braying about how they know it all already. You'd like them to move on, but they just sit on their haunches.
  • Leopard nurses can't change their spots. They're known for their agility and speed in getting things done. They're also an endangered species. With any luck, the nursing shortage will ease over time and the leopard nurse will make a welcome return.

DID YOU SEE THIS?