Scrubs, “Grey’s” and Beets

I love being in the medical field. I get psyched about weird things like neuroscience conferences (never been, yet), playing with numbers on a dialysis machine, being able to look at a monitor and tell what’s going on with my patient by interpreting their vital signs. I love being a nurse, and like anyone who loves their field, I get excited about sharing different experiences and discoveries in my line of work. What better platform than my odd, random collection of thoughts on the internet?

  • I have to tell you something about scrubs. They are the most comfortable things in the whole world. My pajamas are less pajama-y than my scrubs, no joke. To wear something universally identified as the uniform of those who save lives, and yet to be so cozy in them that at any point you could curl up and take that nap you so desperately need, is the dream. It used to make me slightly annoyed that waxing professionals get to wear scrubs. Then I realized that they have to get up close and personal with people like I do, but they don’t get to wear a mask and crack jokes about them while they are sedated. So wear on, estheticians, you’ve earned your scrubs.

 

  • Speaking of earning scrubs, it’s a low key very big deal to earn your OR scrubs. OR scrubs take the scrub game to a whole new level. See, when you first graduate nursing school, you buy all of those Facebook ad scrubs. The form fitting ones with elastic and zippers and pockets just in case you need to store something no bigger than a quarter behind your left calf. And then when you realize that you cannot move with ease or remember which pocket your pen is in, surgical, or OR scrubs, solve all of your scrub problems. They are shapeless, so they can hide the donut binge from the breakroom earlier, and they have been washed 100+ times by a sterilizing agent  that could probably burn your eyeballs off, so they are a whole new level of soft. Plus they are the uniform of the tough, intense, rock star surgeons and so therefore ooze greatness onto your skin when you wear them.

 

  • Speaking of surgeons, we have to talk about Grey’s. It is pretty much universally known that Grey’s Anatomy and the all the other medical TV shows are full of a myriad of inaccuracies. But when I watch it I always wonder if you were wondering which parts are inaccurate, so I thought I’d break it down for you.
      1. No one is having that much sex at work. There are some people who do, but they are the minority. The rest of the hospital is running around getting their butts kicked, wondering if lunch is in their future, not a hot and sweaty encounter in the on call room.
      2. When you are on the verge of death, you’re not breathing without the support of a ventilator 30 minutes later.
      3. Doctors don’t give rectal suppositories. Let’s rephrase that. Doctors don’t actually administer medication most of the time, and they are definitely not lining up to put meds in butts.
      4. If people coded in the MRI machine as many times as they do in Grey’s, everyone would be dead.
      5. Most of us leave work, haul our exhausted feet to the car, and drive home to our families. NOT go to the local bar and spend more time with the people you were with all day and get drunk and have more sex with boundless energy.
      6. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the nurses in Grey’s do, because all the doctors are putting in IV’s, doing neurological assessments, transporting them, calling their family, administering medications and acting as their psychiatrist.
      7. You can’t pull a heart out of a dying person and run in down the hall to give it to someone else.
      8. Neurosurgeons don’t hand the residents the drill and say, “want to have a go on this dying person’s brain?”

     

     

  • Ok, so say you start looking up how to farm beets, so as to join the Schrute family in their thriving buisness. You Google, Wikapedia, and Online forum and Facebook comment the crap out of beet farming. You go up to a well established beet farmer to ask for his counsel, but before he can get more than 5 words in you have already discredited him and everything he does, and his 20 years of beet farming, all because Aunt Judy on Facebook had a very opposite, compelling, confusing, and mostly emotional argument for that very same topic. This is how doctors feel (I’m assuming here). They go to medical school for a reason. You cannot learn the same amount from independent online research as they did in their 10 years of schooling and practicing. Did you know that as a doctor you are required to do a certain amount of research and continuing education every year? So not only do they have the years of schooling, time and experiences of working, but they also are required to grow with the evolving discoveries in medicine. Now, granted, some doctors are rude. Condescending. Arrogant. But they are the exception, not the rule. Besides, there are rude people in every line of work (example: when I go to a nail salon I always feel extremely judged on the condition of my callused heels). We live in a culture in which we think we have to be an expert on everything, but 1. that’s exhausting. 2. that’s impossible.

 

  • If your nurse is using a stern voice, it’s probably because you’re dangerously close to something that’s scary, like when your kid is walking, arms outstretched towards the open oven and all of a sudden you get a Batman’s scary voice that shocks them to their core and makes them fall over and get hurt anyway. I had a mom of a patient once who was half-heartedly trying to get her confused son back into bed. With my isolation gown a-flying I ran over and commanded him to “get back in bed NOW”, as I pulled his 16 year old, 200lb, 6 foot 2 inch man body back into bed. Congratulating myself on a prevented head injury and lawsuit, I apparently missed the ice cold looks from his mother as I left the room. Later in the day as I stopped evaluate how much longer I could hold my pee, and take a sip of my lunch, aka Sprite, a doctor came out the room and told me that my patient’s mother was very upset with me for ” being a rude nurse and harsh with her son”, and told me that I needed to go apologize to her. I’m not ashamed to admit I stood right there in that hallway and cried every bit of my mascara off because it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that in all of my running, and pushing meds, and starting drips, and alerting the doctors, and preventing my patient from harm, I was so grossly misrepresented because of a moment of cutting the crap and going into emergency mode. I was reminded of this when I was in labor and my nurse told in no uncertain terms in a stern voice to roll over “RIGHT NOW” as I hemmed and hawwed about not wanting to move my whale of a contracting belly. It turns out my baby’s heart rate had dropped and I needed to turn over RIGHT NOW. Sometimes in the process of saving lives, manners get momentarily forgotten, and mincing words gets thrown out. And you know? That’s ok. I think we’d all rather be alive.

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