In the American medical system, the operating rooms are considered especially mysterious. In hospitals, the dedicated housestaff who operate in these places are members of an elite squad known as residents.
These are their stories.
Ravenlocks and the Three Scrub Sinks
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Ravenlocks, with hair as black as raven feathers. But you wouldn’t know, because she had to stuff it every day under a really unflattering blue bouffant hat – two, in fact, to keep her hair from falling out through the weak elastic opening.
Most days, Ravenlocks would sit into operating room, waiting for her prince – no, wait, the patient – to come, rolled in by the anesthesia elves with their propofol magic. And after the prick of the needle, and the patient fell into a deep sleep of a hundred years (sorry, minutes), she would wander out into the wilderness that was the operating room hallways to look for a scrub sink to wash her weary hands.
Outside the operating room, she found a sink. Ravenlocks was in a hurry, so she opened a scrub brush and kicked the water panel with her knee to start the water’s flow. She tested the water from the first sink.
“Owwwwwwww, s#)%!” exclaimed Ravenlocks, a real pottymouth, “That f%^&*($ sink is TOO HOT!”
[Use some of that scrub for your tongue, young lady – love, Mom]
So, she ran to the next sink – at least twenty feet away, with carts and stretchers and hospital beds blocking her way. After pushing three enormous beds aside and squeezing into the teeny-tiny space between two hastily emptied case carts, she tested the water from the second sink.
“What the -” said Ravenlocks, “This sink is too cold. Really?!”
So, she ran to the last sink, farthest away of all, all the way down the hall. By this time the scrub solution was dripping down the brush and making a povidone iodine mess of her scrubs (note: that stuff does not wash out), so she hastily tested the water from the third sink.
“Oh, thank God,” she said happily, with little of her usual sarcasm, “This sink is JUST RIGHT.”
Ravenlocks gave a contented sigh and started to scrub. But as she was scrubbing, three hulking, ursine ortho residents came out of the OR next to her.
“Someone’s been using our scrub sink!” “Someone’s been hogging our scrub sink!” “Someone’s been using our scrub sink?”
“Yeah, no $#(^ Sherlock,” said Ravenlocks. “I’m still here. I’ll be done in two minutes, promise.”
So she scrubbed up and ran down the crowded hall, pushing various objects blocking the hall without using her upper extremities like an armless linebacker (because then it would defeat the entire purpose of scrubbing).
And she never returned to the perfect temperature scrub sink again.
(Because it was too far away. And the temperature would have been changed again by that time.)
(with apologies to Goldilocks and the Three Bears)
oldie but goodie: