Are You Comfortable?

I’ve been working in the world of Surgery off and on for the past 2+ years. I’ve had a taste of the surgical world from all angles. I have worked with patients during their pre-operative assessments as well as there pre-operative ‘day-of-surgery’ check-in.

I have spent some time in the peri-operative world as a first assist to an orthopedic surgeon. And I have had and now currently work in the post-operative world, the Recovery Room. Or what it is collectively called the PACU.

We do everything within our power to ensure the patient’s safety. From following the ominous and forthright JCAHO patient identification standards, to double and triple checking each other’s work.

Here’s where my confusion sets in.

Why is it that all areas and environments of the surgical services are sub-zero temperatures? Everything from the waiting rooms, the holding areas, and of course the auspicious Operating Room itself! All areas are cold enough sometimes that if you looked long and hard enough you’d probably find some frost or icicles on a the surface or ledge of a counter!

And what do we do to the patient…

WE HAVE THEM DRESSED IN A PAPER THIN GOWN??!! Doh

Uhm.. Does anyone wonder why the patients temperature upon arrival to the PACU is hypothermic??

Heh heh.

Carpe Diem

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12 thoughts on “Are You Comfortable?

  1. @ M Always a pleasure seeing you my friend
    @ GeekRN Heh heh. Ironically I don’t get cold.

  2. @ M Always a pleasure seeing you my friend
    @ GeekRN Heh heh. Ironically I don’t get cold.

  3. Was once told that the cold keeps the bacterial count down. Someone else said that it helps keep the docs comfortable while they work. Either one works for me.
    The male anethesiologists usually just wear scrubs without undershirts, while the females wear undershirts, scrub coats, plus one or two blankets. The male patients usually don’t need a blanket over their legs before the procedure, the females always do. Guys are wired differently.

    I am glad it is kept cool, otherwise I would sweat right through my deodorant. Too much running around, lifting, pulling, and pushing.

  4. Was once told that the cold keeps the bacterial count down. Someone else said that it helps keep the docs comfortable while they work. Either one works for me.
    The male anethesiologists usually just wear scrubs without undershirts, while the females wear undershirts, scrub coats, plus one or two blankets. The male patients usually don’t need a blanket over their legs before the procedure, the females always do. Guys are wired differently.

    I am glad it is kept cool, otherwise I would sweat right through my deodorant. Too much running around, lifting, pulling, and pushing.

  5. @ Caroline It does get chilly.
    @ rlbates In all fairness, you are correct. They make every attempt to keep the patient warm.

  6. @ Caroline It does get chilly.
    @ rlbates In all fairness, you are correct. They make every attempt to keep the patient warm.

  7. Be fair–the OR temps are often 68-71 degrees F (which is not subzero). I think that the preop and postop areas should be kept aroung 72-75, but they often are not. Even for my short case (and, for sure, for the longer ones), we use warming blankets and often warmed fluids.

  8. Be fair–the OR temps are often 68-71 degrees F (which is not subzero). I think that the preop and postop areas should be kept aroung 72-75, but they often are not. Even for my short case (and, for sure, for the longer ones), we use warming blankets and often warmed fluids.

  9. Reason number 2354 that I can’t work in the OR. Too.Damn.Cold. I have had a few knee surgeries and I always make them put warm fluids on my hands before they start the IV. 🙂

  10. Reason number 2354 that I can’t work in the OR. Too.Damn.Cold. I have had a few knee surgeries and I always make them put warm fluids on my hands before they start the IV. 🙂

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