Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Snow White, RN and the Seven Surgeons

Once upon a time, there was a princess who lived on the hospital surgical ward named Snow White, RN. She was beautiful, cheerful, helpful, efficient, and a damn good nurse. She took great care of her patients, and expected the same level of care from her compatriots. Naturally, that meant that she ran afoul the wicked witch, AKA the Queen Nurse, RN, BSN, PhD, QRS, ABC, etc. Fearing her independence and strengths, the Queen refused to promote Snow White, RN, to management. Every day, she would peer into her Blackberry to ask "who is the ablest one of all who has filled in the most EBN matrix forms, completed the most forms on the EMR system, answered every question on the staff survey correctly, and doesn't ask "Who is that" on my semi-annual trips to the ward." Never seeing Snow White's name on the Blackberry, she was pleased; she did not need Snow White's heart in a jeweled box, because she was boxed in. (image source)

Snow White, RN was not pleased, and sought another position. The HR department, despite being warned by the Queen Nurse, had a moment of weakness and directed her to flee to the woods Operating Room. Lost and frightened, Snow White, RN was befriended by creatures who rarely ventured beyond the OR -- scrub techs, CNAs, anesthesia techs, PACU nurses and operating room RNs. The friendly staff showed her around, and she soon discovered a room deep in the woods OR. Finding seven scruffy chairs, crumbs on the floor, spilled soda, half-eaten pizza, a table with coffee stains resembling an ancient mozaic, and a TV permanently tuned to ESPN, she assumed the room was an adjunct of the frat house at the local university.

But it soon became apparent to Snow White, RN that the room was the surgeons' lounge, occupied daily by seven surgeons --- Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey? Er, not exactly:

Dick Doc is the, well, you know...

Grumpy old Bastard is the general surgeon in his late 50s who has never seen an OR run more inefficiently, has never seen a room turnover in less than an hour, and looks like the barnacle encrusted crab that he is.

Hippie is the laid back surgeon who listens to Tales From Topographic Oceans during surgery. Thought he'd look like The Dude when he got to be 50, but looks a bit more like this dude instead.

Sleepy is the trauma surgeon who lives by the motto "Don't walk when you can ride the elevator, don't stand when you can sit down, don't sit down when you can lay down, and don't lay down when you can sleep." He enjoys a cozy relationship with the recliner in the surgeon's lounge; the anesthesiologists can tell him from the OB sleeping next to him by counting snorts per minute.

Brashful is the young general surgeon just out of training, full of piss, vinegar, and opinions. Sometimes wrong, but never in doubt.

Sleazy is the surgeon who is working -- hard -- on his third divorce; also known to the staff as "Dr. Winky" or "Dr. Pinchmeister." Never got the memo about sexual harassment in the workplace; thinks gold chains aren't just a fashion accessory, they are a lifestyle.

Mopey is the general surgeon who (according to him) just can't seem to catch a break. His cases never start on time, always run late, are always harder than everybody else's cases, and never seem to be elective. He'd hire Eeyeore as a personal life coach if he just got enough time off call....(deep sigh).

As for Prince Charming, Snow White, RN never found him in the surgeons' lounge. She wised up and met a nice cardiologist who swept her off her feet and took her away to live happily ever after.....working in his office with no night call, no medication reconciliation forms, no admission and discharge matrix forms, and no weekends!