Behind Closed Doors


Pick Your Poison

I am by no means promoting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, but everyone has to unwind after a day in surgery, and some, to quote an old line, find that liquor is quicker. Personally, I don't have an extensive knowledge of libations, but a recent cocktail-hour conversation with my OR friends Haley and Bird opened my eyes to the multitude of concoctions available at day's end. Given the drinks' colorful names - some printable, some not - I realized that whatever their inventors were thinking, it was possible that they had surgical nursing in mind. Cheers!

  • In-and-out Martini. Those nice, quick and simple outpatient surgeries.
  • Stinger. "You're just going to feel a little pinch and burn." Right. Why don't we just tell it like it is? "This is going to hurt like H-E-double hockey sticks."
  • Fuzzy Navel. Prepping that patient who has apparently never washed his bellybutton. It literally takes a hemostat to get all the gunk out.
  • Crown Royal. Raise a glass to the small-town "celebrity" surgeon.
  • Old Fashioned. The good ol' country surgeon who's still clamping, cutting and tying instead of slicing, dicing and frying.
  • Lounge Lizard. You see her when you arrive for your shift. You also see equipment left in the hallways, scattered suture and cases that need pulling.
  • Boilermaker. The staff member who's got her nose in everyone's business and who's frequently stirring up trouble.
  • Bloody Mary. The patient undergoing an emergency lap, who is also on Plavix.
  • Screwdriver. The patient coming in minus the tip of his finger. He should have stuck with the manual tools and foregone the power saw.
  • Rusty Nail. That infected foot should have come in five days ago.
  • Aggravation. Dr. Crown Royal's phone is ringing. The tech is asking you for more 3-0 pop-offs. Anesthesia wants another LR. And the supervisor is calling to ask if you can get yourself out to lunch when you finish this case.
  • Fine wines. (Or, rather, "Fine whines.") From the surgeon with little tolerance for anything other than that which involves him and his tiny little personal space.
  • Frog in a Blender. The politics at some facilities you've worked at.
  • Hurricane. The atmosphere in your facility when you have three or more rooms going and an emergency hits the OR doors.
  • Kamikaze. Sometimes you just prepare yourself to expect the unusual.
  • Corpse Reviver. Have you ever seen this placeon Friday afternoon after a 60-hour week?
  • After Five. "It's always five o'clock somewhere."
  • Seven and Seven. The shift you end up working, more often than not.
  • Moonshine. Walking out to the parking lot after a 14-hour day.
  • Mind Eraser. Trying to get your brain to turn off after the day's events.
  • Southern Comfort. The traveling nurse from Arkansas who adopts you as her friend, like it or not.
  • Everclear. Your role in the OR.
  • Absolut. It's all or nothing in surgical nursing. You can't fake it or do anything halfway.

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