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