Monday, September 19, 2005

Deconstructing scrubs

Poor Dr. Au. I say that without any sarcasm at all (rare for me, I know), because she's on the horns of a dilemma: freeze to death in the OR, or be taken for an RN?

No, Michelle, (may I call you Michelle?) you're not prejudiced against nurses. You're not trying to remind people that you are a Big Doctor Person. You're just trying to stay warm while not confusing people about your role.

I don't know what it's like in your facility, but in mine we can wear pretty much whatever we want (the RNs, that is) under our white lab coats or scrub jackets. I tend toward scrub tops with sushi prints. Some folks like, yick, teddy bears. One woman wears tops with glow-in-the-dark alien faces on them--she works nights. The docs wear OR-distributed scrubs or street clothes under their lab coats or, yes, scrub jackets.

Sometimes it's hard to tell us apart, pity the poor patients. I get called "Doctor" at least three times a week, more because I'm a little older than the other nurses and hence have a few more dark circles under my eyes. I look more like an exhausted resident to a gorked-out patient, I guess. One of my male resident colleagues gets called "Nurse" at about the same rate, probably because he looks well-rested and doesn't have pockets full of *stuff*.

It *is* all about truth in advertising. Clothes make the person in the hospital.

Get you some of those silk long undies and a scrub jacket, then have the scrub jacket embroidered with "Dr. Michelle Au". You'll stay warm and there won't be any questions, at least not from the observant.

8 comments:

Catherine said...

Reading Michelle Au's blog yesterday got me wondering: Just how cold IS it in the OR? And why? Thanks to Versed, I have a 5-hour black out of my own recent surgery, so I'll probably never know what it's like in the OR. (I was looking forward to the experience. Am I sick or what?) Prior to my surgery, some of my online research included references to blanket warmers, etc., and I always assumed that the warmed blankets were just to keep the patient warm because, frankly, they're not really moving around enough on the table to KEEP warm. But if it's because the room itself is kept on the cold side, my question is why? Doesn't the low temperature effect the surgeon's performance, too, not just the anesthesiologist who's pretty much held captive in his/her seat?

Just curious . . .

Third Degree Nurse said...

God forbid anybody look like a NURSE. I don't know. I thought you were way too nice to her. Her inner dialogue openly lays out her condenscension.

I'm too damn old to be take too much BS from anybody and I sure as hell won't be condescended to from another member of the medical team. I can handle criticism or censure if I'm doing something wrong, but I am not taking any crap.

I know; you're thinking "she's in for a rude awakening..."

Anonymous said...

Aw Catherine, don't come down too hard on Michelle. She's probably still figuring out her role & is probably pretty insecure. I don't know if you've read other of her postings but she's brand new mom. If that doesn't make you insecure, nothing will.

I know when I was an intern, 20 yrs ago, I was mistaken for a nurse frequently. If it made a difference, I corrected them. If not, I let it slide. I was not offended, as some of the older female attendings were. But, I put that down to the general prejudice against female MDs when they were formative.

I didn't read Michelle's post closely, so maybe you picked up something I didn't. I just got the general sense of insecurity that I've read in other blogs from her, where she's insecure about her abilities as an anesthesiologist or as a mom.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to sign my post. I'm Dr. Alice's friend.

V

unsinkablemb said...

Hi there - rookie OR nurse here. My theory on why the OR is so freakin' cold is that it helps keep us rookies from sweating so much when we're learning the scrub role. :)

By the way, I agree with V with the idea that Michelle didn't mean to dis nurses. I read her blog a lot and it doesn't sound like her. I get mistaken for a resident all the time! Maybe it's the deer-in-headlights look. Hmmm...

TS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
valueprep.com said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

She was SO NOT bagging nurses! She says SO MUCH on her blog how much nurses help her and how much she values them! As a nursing student, I took NO offence what so ever. I'm sure you wouldnt want to be mistaken for a doctor, right? Same thing.