Behind Closed Doors


My 2020 New Year's Resolutions

It’s one thing to make New Year’s resolutions, quite another to keep them. With you as my witness, I resolve to keep all of most of some of these 8 resolutions — at least until we meet here again next month.

1I will go to the gym. We all start off the New Year with lofty fitness resolutions, but I mean it this time. Instead of collapsing on the recliner when I get off work, I’m going to get this pear-shaped bod back in shape. OR nursing is strenuous, but taking 10,000 steps in an 8-hour shift is not the same as a cardio work on a treadmill — even though I feel like a hamster on a wheel most days — and lifting a 350-pound patient’s tree trunk of a leg while someone preps it doesn’t count as bench pressing. Yes, I will use my gym membership, but only after the annoying resolutioners fade away before the calendar flips to February. I can’t stand crowds.

2I will eat healthy. You can’t out-train a bad diet. When Mom told me to clean my plate, she wasn’t talking about the cake plate. Besides, no reputable surgeon is going to remove my belly and butt fat and call it a lumpectomy.

3I will take my medicine. I will remind Siri to remind me to take my arthritis meds. Soon after I stop taking them, my trigger-fingered thumbs get stuck in the upright and locked position like a hitchhiker’s. I can’t always count on a kindly anesthetist to open a liter of NaCl 0.9% for me.

4I will have an attitude of gratitude. I will appreciate doing the things that used to aggravate me. So what if pre-op didn’t put the SCD leggings on or take the underwear off the patient. It only takes a few minutes to do it myself. I can just include “leggings on, undergarments off” as part of the physical assessment. I will also appreciate the surgery to which I’ve been assigned. I could be stuck in that muddled mess in OR2.

5I will practice patience. When things aren’t coming forth as fast as I’d like them to, like my relief when it’s my “gittin’ off time,” I will remain calm and recite my special Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do and the eyesight to tell the difference.”

6I will not gossip. I don’t like to hear my friends run down. Even by other friends. Gossip will stop with me. I will turn a deaf ear or leave the area when the backbiters start up.

7I will shepherd new nurses. I will not be condescending or mean to new staff. I will introduce myself, help them any way I can and share all the shortcuts the OR natives practice. It’s hard trying to get new things right and fit into a clique. You never know what else the newbie may be carrying on her shoulders. I want to ease their burden, not become one.

8I will practice forgiveness. I will forgive those co-workers who have been harassing, hostile and hateful — and I will fiercely defend victims of workplace abuse.

Will I make it to February?

One-third of the people who make New Year’s resolutions won’t even make it to the end of January. Not me. By not starting my fitness routine until February, I figure I’ll have a better chance at sticking to my commitment. Now if only I can find my sneakers and sports bra. OSM

Related Articles

September 21, 2022

Surgical instruments that are of poor quality or improperly maintained can fail during procedures, an alarming occurrence that jeopardizes outcomes...

Behind Closed Doors: What Went Wrong?

For the past decade, I’ve written my column on resolutions I planned to make in the New Year, the many well-intentioned goals I can never seem to keep. But this year I thought I’d try something different....

Infection Control: How Clean Is Your Water?

My hospital’s sterile processing department is responsible for turning around 1,500 instrument trays a day, and we take every measure possible to ensure...