You Know You Work In Surgery When…

In my many travels around the operating room, different facilities have their little own specific quirks and preferences. However, I in my experience noticed that some things pretty much are the same. Therefore, I have compiled this list (albeit not exhaustive) that sums up the common  OR-isms that we all tend to share:

1)You have a lifetime supply of unused gloves, towels, batteries etc. at home

2) You use Dermabond on EVERYTHING


3) Will question up and down if you brushed up against the back table, but won’t hesitate to partake in the half eaten cheesecake left in the lounge for hourseating left

4) Don’t flinch at the sight of excessive bodily fluids, but run as far away from the X-ray if you forgot to put on lead

5) Cancelled case=Foodie Field Trip!

6) Unless you get  an add-on case then you be like:





7) Can open a door with any part of your body but your hands

8)When your permanent relief is 5+ minutes late and they act like nothing is wrong you be like:

crazy eyes


9) You dread working on or around holidays especially the really happy ones e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s

hate christmas

10) You say  the phrases “Can you tie me up?” followed by “Wanna dance?” with a straight face

11) You can tell the exact O2 sat by listening to the pitch of the monitor

12) Suffered a mild concussion from the overhead lights

And you thought the blade was the most dangerous thing in the OR.
If these lights could talk, they would be laughing at me.


13)  You know the warming blankets are for your patients but sometimes you be like…


14)You couldn’t identify half your coworkers outside the OR because you have no idea what anyone’s hair/face looks like.


15) You can make up to 30 different the emotions with  just your eyes

16) The default scapegoat is “anesthesia”  that applies to pretty much everything from for delay, case not going well, natural disasters etc.









17)  When you page overhead for moving help and the smallest person in the entire OR shows up to carry a foot you be like:

rolling eyes





18) Give the worst or avoid giving visitor’s directions to any unit  of the hospital besides the OR

19) Your service line/ POD is as thick as thieves

gangsta final







20) Don’t fret when you have a combative patient because it will all be over in 3, 2, 1…

Feel free to add your own OR-isms.

Stitch there, Share here...

504 Replies to “You Know You Work In Surgery When…”

  1. Not a lot different that being an RN except why don’t you want to back up into that table???? Is it sterile?? LOL

  2. I was a very young tech student in Lubbock, Texas around 1971.
    It was during Thanksgiving and one the the OR’s had been set up for our annual luncheon. After the day shift ended, I worked 3 to 11. We had a circumcision on a 4yr old Mexican boy. I dropped the specimen and panicked. I looked and looked but could not find it. I mopped the floor and lo and behold I found the foreskin. I but it in the specimen jar and left it in the supervisors locker.
    The next day, they told me it was a piece of ham. Everyone had quite the laugh.
    I was in the OR off and on for 30 years. I have been retired for nearly 8 years. I really miss those days!

  3. I know this article has been out for a while but I once used a suction irrigator (that had been dropped from the field) and a suction tubing to ciphen gasoline from one car to another car.

  4. When you have a med student learning how to pass back sharps and the sharp end is always pointed to you even after the attending has told them multiple times to cover the needle/blade and the attending finally blurts out “WHY DO YOU HATE HER? WHAT HAS SHE DONE TO YOU? WHY DO YOU WANT TO STAB HER?!”

    Doc: Aright, gel foam roll please
    Me: WTF is a gel foam roll? How do you make that?
    Doc: The same way you roll a blunt. At least I think…I haven’t been a teenager in a long time, things might have changed. Have they? Wait don’t answer that.

  5. Male nurse since 20 years old – now 61. So, 41 years in OR and 43 years in RN nursing. Nothing surprises me. I have seen it all and done it all !!!!

    1. Just as soon as you say that ,something you have never seen or done will happen. Been in the O.R since 1977.

  6. My daughter is finishing up school to be an operating nurse. I couldn’t be more proud of here and am happy she is involved in something that helps other people.
    Although I do see the humor in the article and in most of the comments I can’t help but feel totally aghast of the comments that tell of the surgeon and or operating room team treating their patient with disrespect and in some instances illegally.
    Some of the posts even admit that the team waits with anticipation for the patient to fall unconscious so that this behavior can commence. It’s frightening to feel that the people you’re literally trusting with your life in actuality think little to nothing for yours. I hope my daughter will not become jaded by what has obviously become acceptable behavior and will always be as professional as she’s able and keeps her patients dignity and wellbeing in mind.

    1. Greeting September,

      If you would permit me to share an extra long response to your comments I would like to give some clarity to my intentions. When I was first year nursing student many years ago, my mother had to have emergency brain surgery. From the patient’s family perspective, I was very afraid and had no idea what was going on at that time. It was the professionalism and reserve of the OR team that kept me at ease. Although I had little experience, I knew that I wanted to be that comfort to someone else when I graduated.

      Fast forward to 5 years later, I am apart of this diverse an unique culture that is surgery. It can get very stressful at times, but that doesn’t diminish from the level of respect and care I nor I think anyone provides to their patients.

      I wrote this post to share some lighthearted moments with people who work in surgery. Cause lets face it, surgery is HARD WORK and I don’t think it is insensitive to provide insightful comic relief from what we do on a regular basis. Furthermore, surgical nursing is highly skilled, highly technical arena that requires more training than the average nursing field. For instance, typical nurse orientation for new grads is three months. Surgical orientation is twice that at six months. Not to take away from other nursing fields, but simply to ensure you that whoever is taking care of you, has had the utmost rigorous training.

      I don’t take for granted the the lives that are entrusted into my hands, and I hope you don’t become anxious at any surgical experience that you or your loved ones may face down the line.
      Congratulations to your daughter and if have any questions comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience.

      1. That was really nice of you. RN’s rock. I am blessed to count several as friends.!

    2. Let me clarify something that I take offense to. As a person in the OR (18 years) there is a ton of stress and a lot of the times we deal with it by talking about everything under the sun. About patients, each other, family members. There is nothing illegal about it. Crude? yes, mean? sometimes. But I will fight tooth and nail against ANYONE that says I do not care about the person on my table. Lady, you have no clue what we do so before you open your mouth again you better understand that we will and do care about every patients life that we have in our or. There are days that we don’t eat, that we won’t get a bathroom break for 8 hours, holidays we miss, child functions from school so that we can help some stranger that needs our specific skills. So until you walk a mile in our shoes I would suggest you shut your mouth.

    3. I have been an OR nurse for over 40 years and have never heard any direpect directed at our patients. The OR is one of the most stressful units in the hospital along with the ER and the ICUs.
      We are professional and respectful of all our patients. We care for VIPs drug addicts, homless people and incarcerated patints with the same compassion and respect.
      We do need to let off steam. Somedays we rag on each other, we play loud music and give each other grief. Sometimes we get together for a drink after work.

      If you haven’t worked in a critical care environment, you cannot possibly understand. Ask any police officer or firefighter, they will tell you the same thing.

    4. Where I have worked the patient has always been treated with dignity and respect. The jokes and comments are our way of relieving tension as the OR is fast paced and you never know what may happen next. I spent 45 years in various Operating Rooms, and cannot think of one instance where the patient did not come first.

    5. From the comment you left I think you have it all wrong. We have the utmost respect for our patients and take the responsibility seriously. However when you are responsible for another humanbeing, a little humor goes a long way. You can’t tell me that you have never wanted your daughter to just be quiet. People who work in the OR are brutally honest and are taught from day one to be so. There is not room for shades of gray. Gray could mean someone’s life.

    6. I have been in the OR for nearly 37 years (military & civilian, in many parts of this country & a few other countries). I have heard that there r some nasty behaviors going on, but i have never seen it. And, if we all know about those incidents, that means the offender has been exposed & removed from duty. U will find that if someone is acting inappropriately, which happens in ALL workplaces, an OR team member is going to b very quick to blow the whistle so the innocents are not implicated. Hope u daughter lives her job & her patients !

  7. What’s the difference between an Orthopedic surgeon and a puppy ?
    A puppy grows up and stops whining.
    Have to give credit to the orthopedic doc who came back to my ” what’s wrong now” question.

  8. Since there are rarely any windows in the operating room the head of the bed is north and the foot of the bed is always south.

  9. When it’s a busy OR weekend and the Anesthesia MD hands you his credit card to order,food for all and later you forge his signature. Makes you feel like you have a second husband.

  10. When an instrument drops on the ground and you immediately ask for another one or need it flashed because you don’t have another one …..before you even see what it was…..

  11. I do a lot of breast reconstructions following mastectomies. The plastic surgeon will ask new nurses for the left/right expander/implant and we all watch while she checks the box over and over looking for the modifier.

    1. You and your coworkers can sit and eat lunch while discussing any bloody case,body fluid, anatomical body part, without hesitation. After all you just Haagen to eat when you get a chance! Oh and don’t forget the orthopedic thank-you at the end of a case and “code brown”.

  12. I like all the new smart a** med students that we try to help and give advice to then they pass out cause they didn’t listen.

    My favorite story was a 72yo male who used a nut (made for a bolt) To help make him erect longer then came in 8 hrs later to have it cut off.

  13. Just retired after 53 yrs in OR. Many tales could be told…but once a not so popular ENT surgeon said to me “I bet you even dream of me” I responded “Only if I eat pork chops after 7 PM” He was quiet after that!

  14. I’ve been out of the OR for a while, but this brought me right back!!
    Here’s mine:
    -waiting on the frozen section that was promised 10 min ago, and takes another 30 to get back.
    -Scrubbing a cesarean: Caucasian patient and ‘significant other’ in the OR…after the baby is out, the first question from the mother is, “What color is it?” You coulda heard a pin drop…
    -Scrubbing my first week of GYN cases, and at least once a day I heard, “Wow, you’ll never see THIS again”
    -Same week of GYN, my first dermoid cyst…I didn’t eat lunch.
    -Surgeon walks into the room whistling “If I Only Had A Brain” from The Wizard of Oz (true story!)

    1. I have to say, without a doubt, Dermoid Cysts are the one thing that will have me running from the room while I’m dry retching. I can deal with the teeth, I can deal with the bones, but I CANNOT deal with the matted hair in the cheese. It’s making me feel ill now just thinking about it. They are wrong on so many levels.

      I had to have an ovarian cystectomy a few years back and I told them not to tell me if it was dermoid. I think I would have died if it was! Thankfully, it wasn’t.

      1. Wow! After 26 years in the OR, I never came into contact with one of those! What did make me puke was an elderly Vietnamese patient came in with severe malnutrition and possible liber CA. After the surgeons exposed the liver (I was in the room across the hall that nite) my buddy came in hollering ” You gotta come see this” as she went to puke in the wastebasket beside the scrub sink. I went in and said “you guys got something neat going on in here?” I saw a liver that was full of those liver flukes one gets from working in the rice paddies in Vietnam Nam, Cambodia, etc.
        This gave me the willies plus made me puke for a bit. YUCK!😝

  15. Love these! After 23 years working in the OR, these are so true. I love the one about the O2sat monitor. I was blessed with perfect pitch (a violinist before a nurse) and I could tell immediately by pitch, when someone was going south. I am retired from teaching now, but my best years and best friends were made in the O.R.! Talk about trust and camaraderie! A lot of us still keep those ties that bind. We are very lucky nurses.

  16. You know you’re a scrub tech when you can’t sleep and you go thru procedures in your mind instead of counting sheep. Been out of the OR almost 15 years and never have I missed it more or giggled harder so I had to share a memory or two!! My faves are the forein objects–I once had a guy with an orange who said he fell on it while skiing– and the “uniqueness” of certain docs–an ortho who literally jumped up and down like a monkey after splitting the femur screaming “f*ck me f*ck me I’m going to be married to this corpse for 6 months minimum!!” Along with all the towels, drapes, laps and batteries (collect more than you think you’ll need lol) don’t forget the usefulness of those 4 pks of sutures that are still in your pocket at 3 am when you were just to tired to take off your scrubs and promised yourself you’d Lysol everything down at home after just a “few minutes” of sleep…uh huh. I’ve heard you can lace a turkey with silk and have sewn the plastic window of my convertible years ago with a 2 Prolene. Kudos to y’all who get to remain faithful to the hat hair and keep on keepin’ on…😉

  17. Reminds me of a colleague who put her contaminated plastic OR clogs into the autoclave- just for a minute. They came out looking like red erasers.

  18. While working in the O.R. in Vietnam, an OR Tech decided he could heat a can of pork and beans in a large steam autoclave by closing the door and raising the pressure for only 10 seconds. Wrong! He had to spend the entire day, waiting for the autoclave to cool so he could climb into it and scrub off
    beans with a wire brush for hours.

    1. I’m hearing you! We had a similar incident with Condensed Milk. I was working permanent night shift at the time and we’d often take in nice things to eat. One night someone decided we should have some Condensed Milk caramel. I had made it in the autoclave before and I said to put it in and close the door, but DO NOT turn it on. There would be enough heat in it to cook it.

      Lo and behold, they turned it on. As you can imagine, it exploded. We spend the rest of the night chipping rock solid caramel off the inside of the autoclave, hoping it would be done by morning before the CSD staff arrived. Luckily I had a tool box in my car so a few chisels, screwdrivers and a hammer and we got it done in the nick of time.

    2. Bruce, does this remind you of the time Donna M made me scrape ours clean with a chisel when I decided to autoclave a gray plastic bin… it was because a scrub tech on General (Henry ??) contaminated the bin, & I needed it for my laparoscopic case!

  19. When everyone takes vacation the first week in July because the new interns start

    New Resident walks in the room scrubbed and says you’ve got my gloves right and you don’t even know who they are

    1. That’s when you hand them a towel and point to the cabinet. I’ve seen many new residents or med students re-scrub because they didn’t get their own gloves before scrubbing.

  20. A young overly convinced (to himself) resident reached over my field to grab a towel to dry his dripping hands, reacted poorly when I told him not to grab for anything on my back table. He then put his hands in the air and stated, but I’m sterile. My response to him -I’m not interested in your personal life. Surgically clean, maybe, sterile, not unless you just came out of the auroclave.

  21. When you walk by your friends room before 0730 and flip them off or drop an F-bomb…you know it’s going to be a bad day.

    There is correlation between the ease of intubation and Foley placement and the heinosity of your case.

  22. Me: while tying in an Ortho. Resident: ” Yes Doctor’
    Me whispering to the resident: ” You know want that means… Right?”
    Resident looks at me with a smile in his eyes and says” mm… Nothing good?”
    I look him Directly in the eye and say: “That’s right doctor- it means Asshole” He nods affirmatively and carries on. I love that Dr Ray! ( first name)

  23. “We’re still listening.” Stated to milliseconds after the music on Pandora has stopped. Smh

  24. when you can scrub on a complicated revision ACL combined with ACI with no problem yet couldn’t handle a vasectomy!!!

    1. Haha! When you can scrub a multi-level spinal fusion but have no idea how to scrub a lap chole.

  25. Thinking, in theatre, that if I was an normal person I’d be spewing right now.
    Knowing that if it doesn’t kill you it will make for an awesome anecdote later.
    Going to a fancy restaurant with work friends and partners and watching the surgical types do a proper hand wash with hot towels before dinner.
    Checking out people’s veins and their jaw lines on public transport to see if you could assist them or not if there was an incident. Moving far away if they have no chin.

    1. Family member calls to ask if they have a good surgeon. They don’t…… was posted a month ago and is scheduled for tomorrow.

  26. When I was in clinicals we were doing a hip pinning the doc was trying to get the guide wire straight. He was like “please be in please be in please be in.” My preceptor looks up without missing a beat and says “I bet you say that all the time”
    🙂 I love my job

  27. I have worked her for —– years, I ALWAYS do it the same way why don’t you have what I need!

    You don’t have my gloves? How do you not know what size I wear I’ve worked here forever! I always want to say ( do you know what size gloves I wear DOCTOR, I’ve worked here forever and I have to remember about 60 other doctors gloves Who does work here ALL THE TIME, and just not once in awhile)! Like you do!!!!!!!

    1. Had a surgeon pull the “you don’t know my glove size” to a technician who’s been practicing for decades but usually in a different specialty. She looked at him and stated “do you know my name?” … he didn’t, she won. 😉

  28. OR personnel are eternally 8th graders. Especially ortho. When using certain equipment you have to grab the shaft firmly, place only the tip in the hole and then slam it in to lock it in place. Then wiggle the shaft to make sure it is in there securely!!!! And many many more!!!

  29. Never worked so hard physically but loved it and the people I worked with. It was a challenge and I loved it.

  30. When you ask someone to tie you up, and after tying you up they reach around and drop your scrub bottoms and walk away.
    Asking the surgeon who the enemy of good is and they look up, say thank you and start closing.
    Asking for a new team member to drop the tourniquet down on a shoulder or hip case.
    Watching a new smarta$$ struggle after they let it be known that they didn’t need help from someone beneath them. Their struggle may have been enhanced by experienced personnel who were beneath them, lol.
    Hearing anesthesia yell “holy crap, she’s got calluses on her lips” when operating on a “working girl”.
    Sending a new nurse after an Otis elevator. Only to have said nurse return the next day telling how her husband laughed at her saying “yeah, those are the elevators I install”.
    Finding random hidden objects under patients while moving them.
    Removing a quarter from a thigh that had been hit by a bullet and managed to save a gang members femur. After a gang battle.
    Turning up closing music loud enough to make any rock band jealous.

  31. Another one for the ‘Newbees’ : Do You know how far it is to Recovery from here ?
    Only 12 steps !

  32. One of my Drs was yelling at me to speed up. I told him “Doc, I got two speeds. If you don’t like this one you sure as h3ll won’t like the next one.”

    1. How about when they overbook rooms and the managers come in like they are gonna help clean the room. They stand around like your gonna close faster just because they are in there.

  33. “That THING! That thing that I ALWAYS use! I don’t know what it’s called…. Why don’t you have it?”

    1. Surgeon: Get me a Henway!
      Circulator: What’s a Henway?
      Surgeon: Oh, about four pounds!

    2. I had a surgeon once say to me “give me the thing and the thing”
      I actually had both items he wanted in hand before he said it. I held them both up and said “which thing do you want first”. 😀

  34. When you call the microwave at home the autoclave; and when the surgeon’s office or another OR calls for a time estimate and he says “I’ll be there in 10 minutes” and you whisper in to the phone that he will be there in about 45 to an hour.

  35. Wondering why you are so sleepy at 9am; until you look down to see that anesthesia didn’t check to see if the scavenger hose was attached! ( This really happened to me)

  36. when your resident stands up in the middle of a sitting procedure in a panic because he suddenly got a nose bleed and you calmly ask the nurse to go get a tampon out of the core!! Lol

    Hurry up and wait!
    That’s what she said

    When you are finishing up a crani and closing w/ 0 vicryl pops and the neuro Serurgon starts screaming at you “these are cootchie sutures, does it look like I’m sewing up a cootchie?” Because the suture in her cart was stocked with 27in pop offs instead of the 18in.

    1. Or ortho … they’ll fix anything on weekends if they have to be there for a case anyway!

  37. When you have a cold and you have to “recycle ” your snot because you’re scrubbed with a amask on – so gross!

  38. These posts really need a ‘like’ symbol….too funny!!

    When the colorectal surgeon stops in the middle of a dead bowel case and announces that if anyone would like to ‘pass wind’, now would be a great time.

    So many have commented, but I have to second this…the fact that we see so much of human stupidity in our jobs-all the things that people shove in places they don’t belong, the silly stories that bring them there-and we all keep our professional wits about us-until they fall asleep!

    St Patricks Day is truly the busiest day in trauma!!!

    The awesome experience of holding your breath during a heart transplant when they shock the heart to start, watch a transplanted lung turn pink, or see urine for the first time during a kidney transplant.

    Love the OR….

  39. My personal gross outs:

    Staff storing party leftovers in (clean of course) specimen containers. I have NEVER been able to eat of of one, after seeing all of the things I have put in them over the years.

    Any procedure that starts with “Peri Rectal”

    Staff walking barefoot in the locker room while changing. Don’t you REMEMBER what we have been stepping in today?

    The wide array of “retained objects” that people in the US cram up their a**. My favorite was the case that I heard about before I went to the OR about a man with an apple in aforementioned a** that said he “fell out of an apple tree and landed on it”. Happens all the time, people climbing apple trees with no underwear on. Lol!

        1. LOL! Just amazes me that these people think we are stupid enough to buy that explanation. Plus, I wish I had $1 every time I heard that excuse over my 25 year career.

        2. What about the “repeat customer”, 80s some man with the same spray can-with cap! “accident” he had 2 weeks ago. (We kept the last one in pathology). What was he thinking!

    1. Hey I was there for a apple extraction, but this guy admitted it was a sex act gone bad. So much for an apple a day keeps the surgeon away.

    2. Try 13 potatoes, still with dirt on. Apparently he was digging up the vege garden naked. He wanted the potatoes back.

      Energiser batteries last AT LEAST 18 hours………

      Of course there is always the obligatory remote control, where someone sat on the lounge naked and it just slipped in there.

      The most common excuse I’ve heard was “I was doing housework naked, slipped over and…………”. I find it astounding just how many people do housework naked!

      Only one person has ever said “it was meant to spice up our sex life and we fkd up”.

      1. Had a patient shove a potato up there that required laparotomy. Surgeon said “scapel, retractor, cuisinart”.

        1. I worked in peds, it’s the teenage boys that slip and “fell” on something. Best ones were a bouncy ball and a flashlight (still worked).

    3. Thrifty Nickle newspaper? How about one of the huge shower brushes you hang over the shower head? New nurse asked the Dr after we took a huge candle out if it was scented. Surgeon said, well it is now.

    4. I’ve taken care of 2 individuals that did creative things with aquarium tubing! I love to hear the stories of how that got up there!!

  40. When a certain surgeon books a big belly case, and you want to take the clock down and replace it with a calender….

    When your head nurse sticks her face into the room to see how the case is progressing, and you inform her that it’s no longer a case… it’s now a career move !

    1. We had a nurse who put the months of the year over the numbers on the clock in an OR room that a slower surgeon worked in.

    2. One of our Neuro residents usually post a “BED & BREAKFAST” sign outside the OR whenever we have to stage a very long case. (Usually takes 2days). And yes, when we do cases like this, we don’t count the length of cases by hours, we count them by days.

  41. When you ask for the “spit and suck” (pulse lavage) from central supply and no one even bats an eye.

  42. When the surgeon says ” I looks like a lipoma, and it feels like a lipoma” and you say” shall we taste it and see if it tastes like a lipoma ” hee hee

  43. When you can watch a YouTube video of a procedure you want to brush up on….while snacking.
    *my boyfriend gags whenever he makes the mistake of looking over my shoulder while stealing a bite*

  44. You know you’re in the Or when the manager states at a weekly meeting “the traveler will b the one to float to the other campus’

  45. when the surgeon says “these Metz dont cut, I need a new pair!” And you wipe them off clean, give it back to him and say “here’s a new pair of Metz” he says “yeah these work better”. Lol

    1. Except…..that doesn’t really happen, does it? As if the surgeon didn’t have the situational awareness to see you try that lame-ass bullcrap – I think not.

      1. On you think so do you? They don’t notice s**t once their heads in the game mate. Lol

    2. So true.
      I never use these bipolar forceps get me the other ones. Open a new pair. Same code on package. Thanks. These are them.

    3. or they say the cautery isn’t working so you turn up the volume and all of a sudden it’s working perfectly!! done that more than once!!

    4. II have been an OR nurse for over 40 years and have never heard any direpect directed at our patients. The OR is one of the most stressful units in the hospital along with the ER and the ICUs.
      We are professional and respectful of all our patients. We care for VIPs drug addicts, homless people and incarcerated patints with the same compassion and respect.
      We do need to let off steam. Somedays we rag on each other, we play loud music and give each other grief. Sometimes we get together for a drink after work.

      If you haven’t worked in a critical care environment, you cannot possibly understand. Ask any police officer or firefighter, they will tell you the same thing.

  46. when the surgeon says “these Metz font cut, I need a new pair!” And you wipe them off clean, give it back to him and say “here’s a new pair of Metz” he says “yeah these work better”. Lol

  47. when the circulator comments on how dirty the belly button is and you all get in on the conversation!

    1. I trained in Hawaii. I brushed crushed leaves out of a patient’s belly button in the ER and the family went ballistic! Then they informed me that it was a native Hawaiian practice. Did I feel bad or what?

  48. Handy sayings……
    Give it a go, you never know.
    Same case?
    Have the Bookwalter in the room but don’t open it yet.
    Suck! For the love of Jesus……… Suuuuuuccccckkkkkk!!!!!
    All we lack is finishing up.
    Cough that hocker up!
    Carry on men. I’ll be in the area all day.
    Are we having fun yet?
    POC (piece of cake)
    UPR (usual perfect result)
    These Mets are dull.
    I have a hair appointment in 30 min, so finish up.
    I’m no doctor, but that looks serous.
    Call my clinic and ask them cancel everything.
    Where is the circulator?
    Turn the music up please.
    Turn the music down please.
    Well, just count again.
    Ok, turn off the gas and see what happens.
    Looked ok when I left.

    1. If it don’t bleed, it ain’t serious
      Nothing bleeds like the aorta
      Screw the Kreb’s Cycle, hand me the scalpel
      Don’t let the skin stand between you and the diagnosis
      No good physician will quaver with incantations when the malady he’s treating needs the knife.

      1. Assistant: “Do you want to cauterize that bleeder?”
        Orthopod:”No, I only cauterize the ones I can hear!”

    1. thats what we call MD time in our OR. basically whatever they say double it and you are close to what the real amount of time needed is.

  49. When just before Christmas you are imagining how you’re going to spend $15.00 on five people for their gifts and the vascular surgeon starts the day telling anesthesia how he’s looking at buying an island up in Canada and then later says…. “Yeah, I told the kids we have to tighten our belts this year because times are rough, ya know!!” AAAARRRRGGHH!!

  50. When the surgeon asks ‘how old is this patient’ and anesthesia replies sarcastically with a smile…’when the case started?’

  51. You prep a crani pt’s gunshot wound and then eat a quick bite in the lounge with gray matter down the front of your scrubs.

  52. When the eyeball you just removed rolls off the table, lands on the floor looking up at you, and the doc glares at you saying “here’s looking at you”

  53. The thought of lithotomy position, peri rectal abscess or hemorroidectomy, and potentially some very bad odors are not a big deal.
    Speaking in 3-4 letter abbreviations like SP02, EKG, Appy, Lap Chole in OR 1 ASAP, and all the other verbalisms is second nature.
    Talking about a ruptured bowel case a the table with friends and family and wondering why they look as if they will puke.

  54. …. You change clothes at least 3 times a day
    ….when you leave work a you notice you have a line/mark on you face from where your scrub hat or mask was
    ….scrubulating (when you are circulating and scrubbing the room) too bad we didn’t have extra arms to tie ourselves in too!
    ….mask sneezes are the worst
    ….or when you’re in a hot vasc room and you get that bead of sweat on your upper lip (AKA a sweaty mustache)
    ….moving the pt with your circ, while the residents watch you, oh and they are also good at watching you drape by yourself, jeez I tell ya kids these days
    ….your a really good eye reader
    ….using gown tags to write notes to your circ during a case
    ….ugh, med student just contaminated your Sh!+
    ….when docs/residents switch sides and forget their headlights are plugged in and get whip lash
    ….everything can be twisted into something inappropriate, and it’s awesome!
    ….”we do it the same way everytime”, I call BS! Lol
    ….bovie smoke smells like bbq? Must be lunchtime

    1. I tell new employees or students, this is a participation sport not an observation sport.

    2. After scrubbing T.K.R. or T.H.R. all day and going home and finding bone debris in your hairline where your hat didn’t cover.

    3. I love this feed….feels like coming home to family…..scrubbed 34 yrs……I actually miss it all!!!! Surgery rocks!

  55. When you send the new employee out of the operating room to look for a “Otis elevator”.

    1. This has always been my favorite thing to do as well. The look on their faces when someone finally clues them into the fact Otis is the brand of elevator is priceless! LMAO!

      1. We teach the med students from day 1 to not fall for this one now….same with ‘Fallopian Tubes’

      2. How about sending them out to find Primapore splicing tape or a left handed Deaver?

  56. Your are the only circulator on a hairy case that 3 circulatory couldn’t handle. There are 6-8 people scrubbed and they all demand something @ the same time. My famous reply is” stick a broom up my a– and Ill sweep the floor while l’m @ it.”

    1. I love this saying! I use it too! I usually retort with “and people in Hell want ice water”!!

  57. And your Vascular surgeon says why did you leave the room…..while there is 2 units of blood on the floor and anesthesia wants blood? ?????? Or same surgeon’s phone rings and says who is it stops surgery with blood squirting everywhere. …and you say I don’t know here you talk to him….or 15 minutes later his other phone goes off and everything stops again. …and I say Oh it’s in your lab coat which shouldn’t be in the OR can’t find it but I got your credit card yea……..

  58. You’re kitchen is well stocked with Laps, towels,Aseptos, pitchers and any thing else that went to the floor.

  59. When you can eat dinner after a bowel resection gone bad!
    You need a lap chole and demand to be the first case!!
    You are standing next to a tall person and wonder if you are still in the sterile field…at the grocery!
    When you pass silverware/tools/scissors by popping the handle in their hand!
    When you open doors with every part of your body but your hands
    You set your household tools up like your mayo
    When you ask the surgeon, did you have to put your phone there…really?
    When,—no matter what anyone says to you—you never cry!!
    You have a list of surgeons and anesthesiologists that cannot touch you…

    1. My daughter was a sug tec. We heard and saw all the things you mentioned. We lost her in an auto accident 18 months ago. She was 27. For a brief moment I heard her voice in your comments. Thank you so much.

      1. So sorry for your loss. May your memories of your daughter bring you great comfort.

    1. Like the day the neuro surgeon told my floor manager, she’s stressing me out, I want her moved. Had the best month with 3 other awesome neuro surgeons who asked why the princess didn’t want me.

  60. When the urologist states at the end of a challenging TURP, “Give me a 3-way.” You ask him to repeat himself numerous times, acting like you don’t understand him until he yells, “I WANT A THREEWAY, NOW!!!!”

    1. And, as a urologist, I would say, “do you not understand English and/or urology terms?” Hehehehe

  61. Never under any circumstance say “it’s quiet today”! That is the exact moment that all hell breaks loose, the trauma pager goes off and they book 2 emergencies. Happens every time.

  62. “Dr., can I push in your stool?” With a sh$t eating grin under your mask!

    When someone asks you, “Do you want a turn?” You reply, “Why not? Everyone else has!”

    During a thyroidectomy, the ENT doc says, “Suck on my finger.”

  63. When your surgeon is being an A%%hole and you give him a new-grad for the next case and then go on a break, just to teach him a lesson!!

  64. no matter how long the surgeon says the procedure will take, use this formula multiply by 2 and add 30 minutes. This has worked for me for over 35 years.

  65. Ask me how I know…
    You ask the transporter to get you a mallett and they bring you a hammer from engineering.
    Everything taste good on a ritz.
    See one, do one, teach one.
    Can you pinch my nose.
    Get the hair out of my eye.
    Everything itches after you scrub.
    The surgeon arrives for the first case with a room full of cases and says I have a flight.
    A surgeon that does not like staff to eat because it slows us down.
    You paint your nails over your gloves with the marker on some cases.
    You make snowman out of the slush.
    You can make wax characters with bone wax.
    We served rice and ice with a lung retractor from a basin.

    1. Or you make sculpture out of the left over bone cement….typically of genitals.

      1. Many years ago, we wore powdered gloves. There was a fluff in your water basin to wash off the powder. One of my techs tied it into a series of knots to look like a rosary because she had to wait so long for the patient to arrive.

  66. When ur using a beanbag and say “suck it til it’s hard”

    When it not at work and someone’s looking around for something and u know exactly what there looking for, cuz its what I do

    1. Or when you hand a student nurse watching an ortho case some bone cement and tell them the more they play with it the harder it gets. Their eye reaction says it all!

      1. Just hold your hand up. When he asks why your hand is up say it means you have already told this. Do it every time pretty good when whole room catches on.

    1. Fem-pop, chop chop. Hah, New one on me. Have to use that next time. Bet it will make the rounds quickly.

    1. While nursing my infant daughter, pumped milk between cases and stored in the lounge refregerator; one of the surgeons wanted to know where we found the wonderful sweet milk for the coffee!

  67. I agree with #14. At the Christmas party my husband thinks I am getting dementia because I can’t introduce my co workers because I don’t recognize them. LOL

    1. When you encounter a coworker outside of the hospital and say “Gee, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on”!

  68. Orthopaedic surgeon without lead grabs my large basin to protect the “boys”-I hand him the measure cup telling him that is more his size! Same surgeon going on about how nice it must be to be a druggie…. You can blame everyone one else- did not appreciate the humour when told that it was just like being a surgeon as they blame everyone else too!!

  69. How about when the surgeon asks for “an 8 inch______” but when you pass it to him…. “oh, honey, your boyfriend’s been lying to you…!”

  70. i was a CRNA for 33 years… So used to being blamed for everything, BUT on the right side of the blood/brain barrier! Loved the OR and all of the characters…

  71. You know you work in surgery: when the surgeon stabs you with the scalpel and grins or when 2 doctors are physically fighting because they just both got emergency add on cases and only 1 room is available. Ever stopped a nose bleed on a surgeon cause he got punched?

  72. I love all of the phrases that you say in the OR that can be taken out of context if there were to be overheard by an outsider. “Suck right here / keep sucking!” and course the “can you tie me up”. I had a urologist ask me once durring a Cysto if I had a blue nipple and I said “yes, if you pinch it hard enough” and just today I heard a doc tell a CRNA at the end of a quick case”That was fun, sorry it was so short” and I chimed in “That’s what she said!” I love my job!

    1. My favorite I have said was–“I’d like to suck that for you, but I don’t have a free hand”. That will probably be what is written on my retirement papers.

  73. You take our your kid’s stitches with a #12 blade because it has a great hook on the end!
    You tell the new person to go get the otis elevator and the left handed bucket.
    You tell the doctor who says the F word as every other word that you’re keeping track and the clicker has already repositioned to 000 so that it only looks like the 2nd time he’s said it.

  74. You use a calendar instead of a clock in back-fusion cases.

    Your “I am so frustrated ” mantra is:

  75. Or the feeling you get during a laparoscopic case then the doctor says “why don’t you bring the Bookwalter in here for some good MoJo”

  76. When you are trying to explain and the Dr. says, “spare me the details, show me results”!

    When you realize there has been a code brown and the Dr. says “the looks like a nursing problem to me” and runs out of the room!

    When the patient weighs over 350 its time to move and the Dr. says “you don’t mind if I leave, I’ve got to get to X,Y,Z.”

    When the Dr. is late, they make up some phoney excuse and come in saying, “let’s get moving, I’ve got a lot to do today”!

  77. Before engaging in a possibly dangerous activity like roller skating after not having done it in 15 years you check to see who the orthopedist on call is…

    You are an advocate for people cleaning their belly buttons on the regular. You tell all your co-workers ” I have a mole in my belly button” so they aren’t grossed out or attempt to remove it while prepping it for surgery. You know how we feel about nasty navels!!

  78. When you haven’t scrub the case before and your senior colleague will say :
    There’s always first for everyone.

    And it’s very hard to listen to surgeons talking inside Toga gowns in Joint procedures. “Asking for osteotome but I heard out you come.”

  79. When your doing a sebaceous cyst and the smell makes you gag! Ugh!!
    How ’bout a dermoid and everyone wants to come take a look!?

  80. And don’t even think that the case is going to be quick or easy! It will end up being a foreverectmy!

  81. You know your day is going to be a disaster when you’re interviewing your pt and the pt states, ” I don’t want any blood transfusions, no matter what” . This is the same pt that has been typed and crossed for 4 units and a blood consent is signed.

  82. As an OR nurse for 42 years , I have lived all your comments! However, the most important one is make sure your belly button is clean!!!!!

  83. As an Older CRNA, I am totally accustomed to taking the blame for everything. Just another day at the office. Love this site

  84. As an Older CRNA, I am totally accustomed to taking the blame for everything. Just another day at the office. Love this site

  85. As an Older CRNA, I am totally accustomed to taking the blame for everything. Just another day at the office. Love this site

  86. You have learned that no matter how bad you have to go pee, you never just yank on the scrub strings.

  87. When you hear “suck it til its hard” and you know they are talking about the bean bag.

    When you know every genre/song word for word off the radio, playlist, and/or pandora

  88. You work in the OR if you check and call out the outdates on food every time you buy it. *Guilty here*

  89. It’s like doing a new case every time .
    Or the surgeon sees who’s coming in to relieve you for lunch or for the day and he whispers to you please don’t leave.
    Dr ask for a piece of equipment that the hospital doesn’t have. Yes you do I use it everytime. You tell him no that’s the other hospital you go to.
    I had one surgeon yell at me to stop moving the camera around in a lap chole case. I laughed and said I’m not holding the camera you are.

  90. Omg this is so true. Starting a laprascopic case asking to start insulflation and the Dr. Says Blow job! But like any OR “WHAT WE COOK HERE WE EAT HERE”.

    1. What about when your sitting at home watching TV and you see a fly go by and you have a moment of panic, before you remember where you are?

  91. When the surgeon’s headlight cord gets caught on the back of his pump up stool and you say “Wait just a minute doctor, you’re hung.”

    1. I do look at random people’s chin just to guess if they’re a difficult intubation! So true and I’m a tech!
      The surgeon asks if I’ve done this before and I say this is my first time so go easy on me.

  92. you are missing a needle, you know it’s a 3-0 chromic, someone comes in to help and finds a nice 1 silk on the floor!
    Read Confessions of an Operating Room Nurse for more of the same!

  93. Working in open heart surgery, our favorite instruments to ask the new staff members for are and vein stretcher and the Otis elevator. Both get great laughs when the person returns.

  94. surgeon calls to book a case, you scramble to ready for the case,only to find case cancels due to surgeon booking case before seeing the pt

  95. Doc-tor “I never, ever ever, ever, never use (fill in blank) this. Change my card NOW!!!

  96. When your Halloween costume box consists of OR scrubs blue gowns, shoe covers, masks and hats.

    When your home freezer is full of cool packs from drug deliveries.

  97. You are with a bunch of friends in a restaurant(or more likely a bar) talking about your day and look around to see people at other tables turning green. 🙂

  98. Oh, or how about when people get bored of always asking for something in the same way, so they make up something goofy.
    “Can I get an Army Navy Air Force Marine?”
    “Can I get some Saline Dion?”

  99. When you have been a retired OR tech for over 10 years but you still have hemostats,bandage scissors and needle holders in your kitchen drawer that you use for household chores everyday. And you husband ask for a cooking utensil and you slap them in the palm of his hand with a smack sound, to which he looks at you like your crazy.

  100. Only this sentence makes sense in front of the OR schedule board, “Is it robotic? No it’s just a vag.”

  101. The printed schedule is only a mere Suggestion.

    Labor epidurals always come when there are 3 cases to start in the OR simultaneously.

    The anesthesia phone rings with EVERY induction of anesthesia.

    The OR crew are the best people in the world to work with.


  103. When your scrub asks for a standing stool and you say, “didn’t you know you were short when you scrubbed in?”

    1. I wish I would have said this, I sure thought it in my 47 years as a Circulator. Retired 3 years now, too late. Someone please say it for me.

    1. Why do ortho Dr. think it is not in their realm of knowledge to know the names of the instruments they are using. One doc still calls a retractor “Chrissy’s Retractor”. Chrissy no longer works here and her replacements name is Steve.

  104. worked in the or and retired over 20 years age and nothing has changed, the comments made were so right on and funny, I still miss the people that I worked with sure even some of the docs, god rest their souls

  105. When the surgeon warns the pt before a local injection “You’re going to feel a little prick”…..and you’re thinking…”You got that right”.

  106. The surgeon says in the same sentence I’ve done this case the same way for 25 yrs and when are they going to update the preference card on this case.

  107. When its 3 in the morning a trauma comes in and instead of opening a new surgeon wants to do it laproscopic only to convert.

  108. When I’m helping my husband with his carpentry job and he ask me to hand him something, I hand it like I’m passing instruments!

  109. Position the lights over the site for an anal fissure and the surgeon barges in and hits one of the lights away…yelling ” one hole, one light!!!”

  110. You know it’s gonna be a bad day when as you’re clocking in someone says….boy, am I glad to see YOU!

  111. When the Drs say all I need is a pair of pickups and a hemostate u know then u will not have everything he needs lol.

    1. Lol….we had a 500 lb put and the surgeon tells us that all she needs is a knife and Richardson for a C-section….sure you do!

  112. ….when you feel like your hands need extra moisturizing from all the handwashing..

    .. when you served as circulating nurse in a morning case and realized that you have extra “just in case needed” suture packs in you pocket during lunchtime..

  113. I’m retired 3 yrs now. All of these are so funny. Brings back all the memories. I really miss all the good times we had. If you have a room full of good people the day goes so well and you can have a little fun thru a hard and demanding job.

  114. When you piss the surgeon off and he gets back at you by playing nurse fetch.

    Scope case fluids need to be changed and surgeon wont let you lower the pole.

    Surgeon on your ass about an instrument he needs asap, can’t find it n core and instrument room looks at you like they all just forgot English.

    Been in back to back cases all day just wanna sit for a minute, but NO tomorrow’s cases havent been pulled yet.

  115. Looking at everything in the perspective of the pt on the supine position. To me the R side of my computer, for example, faces my L arm, and the L side is the one that faces my R arm. It drives my husband crazy when I point something in the R or L side of the TV. He gets all confused.

  116. Everyone in the room immediately knows which one of the 6 gowned and gloved staff surrounding the patient farted except the surgeon, who says “Code Brown! Code Brown! Don’t let it get on the field!!”, and everyone else is choking back laughter… 😉

    1. last week the slowest surgeon in town was doing a couple of lesions on legs. The patient kept letting silent but deadly farts. The surgeon sewed faster than we ever knew was in her capacity. finished in 30 mins. still long for 2 lesions but twice as fast as expected.

  117. When the surgeon pisses u off and u get great pleasure in seeing how hard u can pop instruments in his hand

  118. G I Doc calls “Put the patient in the room I’ll be there in 15 minutes” Thirty minutes later————-

  119. G I Doc calls “Put the patient in the room I’ll be there in 15 minutes” Thirty minutes later————-

  120. To the surgeon… “I can’t hear you through your tone of voice, can you repeat that please?”

    I’ve always said I would have the perfect job if it weren’t for surgeons and equipment failures.

  121. You can devour a 7 course meal in 8 minutes! Your family at holiday dinners stare at you “dissecting” the turkey!

  122. when you keep a list of surgeons in your wallet who are never to touch you and make sure your family knows exactly where it is invade of emergency!!!

  123. When the colo-rectal surgeon is watching you do a rectal prep and tells you “it’s not brain surgery”

  124. How many blue windshields do you see is a parking lot in a snowstorm? Shoe covers work great on mirrors too.

  125. I worked as an OR scheduler during the mid shift & had almost any specimen you can think of put on my desk for path transport, even while eating dinner @ my desk…toes (makes good little maracas), legs, uterus’, colons. I could handle ALLL of that but as soon as that dang drill & hammer started or suctioning in PACU started, I’d gag

  126. — you gasp whenever someone says the word “quiet” (aka ‘the “Q” word)
    — you pull extra supplies/instruments to ward off evil demons
    — you’ve basted your turkey with an asepto
    — you want to make a public service announcement informing the public about cleaning their belly buttons

  127. You are an Or Nurse;
    When you recite poems to relax your Surgeon:
    Sleep while you can,
    Eat while you can,
    Don’t mess with the Pancreas
    And the Liver is not your Friend ! ! !
    T o be a Surgeon:
    You must have the Eyes of an Eagle,
    The Heart of a Lion
    And The Hands of a Woman! !
    Taught to me by 2 of my Surgeons long ago!!!!

  128. Totally grossed out by dirty belly buttons….including the surprises and odor!! Stanky!!!

    Teaching your kids to keep their belly buttons clean!!!

  129. when you use iodorform gauze as a substitute for Febreze air freshener in the OR room.
    when the veteran OR team tells the new team member to go find a Otis elevator.
    when the OR team knows that they will have to guide the surgeon thru the procedure and he or she is arrogant enuff to think it was them!!!!!!

  130. You’re at home cooking and a utensil starts to fall off the countertop or table and….you just stand back and watch it hit the floor.

    Complete non-verbal body language vocabulary and top secret code words.

    Divide up call to keep everybody happy….well, almost.

    Never throw our OR sisters under the bus!

  131. If it’s not anesthesia’s fault, it’s the Rep’s fault!

    “Go half on the lights”

    The awkward bluegrass song in someone’s pop playlist that comes on in the middle of the case.

    The look you give when a new Rep shows up for a complicated case and says, “he wants to try this today.”

    Spending more time troubleshooting printers than taking care of patients.

    Taping towels to the window for a VIP case.

    The set that comes in with the “other” doctor’s name on it and the doctor your with gets pissed.

    Putting white towels on the ground to damn the water from Lake [insert Ortho surgeon’s name here] during an arthroscopy.

    In-services without donuts = stop listening.

    Layoffs, but the hospital is buying a $2M robot.

    Finding out he “is NOT the father” during your break in the lounge watching daytime TV.

  132. When your 4 year old asks why you are basting the turkey with his tub asepto..not realizing turkey basters are even a thing

  133. That feeling when your holding the lower leg of an AK amputation…and the surgeon finishes the cut and look what you’re holding now!

  134. when you save clean unused laparoscopic graspers…they come in handy to reach fallen objects in tight places….

    1. I wish I had save so many things before my worn out knees forced me to retire as a Scrub Tech! Don’t forget the sponge stick is great for getting things out of drains!

  135. Then you will have those days a surgeon will say “Give me what I need, not what I ask for!”

    1. I worked with a tech once, who replied to the “give me what I need” remark with “OK. Doctor, bend over” He was so taken aback that he laughed

  136. I have been retired for 4 yrs. After reading all these, it feels like it was just yesterday. Aaaaagh! Also, I have blue three-quarter sheets hanging downstairs in front of my shelving units to keep stuff dust-free.

    1. I’ve been retired 9 years – I’m running out of gloves, 3/4 sheets and lap sponges. Time to contact a former co-worker.

    2. My closet is color coordinated, blouses on one level, pants on another, dresses on another….very efficient when dressing because the colors are separated…

  137. Practical jokers in the OR. Come in early to set up for a TKR, a co-worker comes into the room and trips landing on top of your setup…I had a hard time catching my breath. Are you ok? I asked when I really wanted to say, you clumsy a**. Then raucous laughter from staff standing outside room and in room…CASE WAS CANCELED!!!!!

  138. i do it the same way everytime! Let’s not re invent the wheel! C’mon it’s like a real case people!

  139. When doing a project at home, I set up everything before we start,make sure we have enough nails, drill bits etc., & clean up as we go. My husband is amazed & appreciative of my organization. “Honey, it’s what I do for a living!”

  140. Have the whole case set up, counted for an open case and the surgeon walks in to say this is a laparoscopic procedure. Ugh!!!

    1. It even worse when your set up for a laparoscopic procedure and they tell you it’s open with Ria, argon, ect.

  141. When the surgeon says, “give me what I need, not what I ask for.”

    When someone uses a sterile bladder trocar to puncture a coconut.

    When you organize your canned food cabinet with earliest dates first, right to left, front to back.

    Make your bed with hospital corners……

  142. You have gone to your assigned room to begin setting up. Your getting pissed because no one is there helping you. Then you realize “I’m in the wrong effin room!!!”

  143. -you go into ninja mode anytime you see a fly.

    -“That’s what she said” is added to the end of most sentences.

    -you see someone you work with at Walmart and say “You look different with clothes on” without thinking how it sounds to other people.

    – You contemplate taking up smoking bc you know you get breaks and they’re longer than everyone else’s.

    – you pick friends and boyfriends according to how strong their stomachs are.

    – Dr.s can’t make you cry!

    – your bladder is the size of a watermelon.

    1. You wish someone would make a tincture of benzoin based perfume.
      Your varicose veins double as road maps.
      Your arms are so dry from scrubbing you can suck all the water out of a pool when swimming.
      Your favorite smell repellant is the bubble gum spray from the pediatric intubation cart.
      You can still smell the green bowel you resected 8 hours after finishing your shift.
      The surgeon gets mad because you can’t pay attention because you are so hungry, then when you eat lunch you get drowsy during the case and he’s still mad.
      The surgeon is being a rude p*ick to you all day, and then when you snap he gets all butt hurt and comments on how mean you are.
      You now cannot live without Pancit. (If you have no Filipino coworkers you won’t get this).
      You are always scrubbing for the meanest Orthopod because you don’t take any crap and your boss knows you will survive just fine scrubbing for this guy for the rest of your natural life.

  144. After you wash your hands at home you dry them with arms bent 90 degrees, from fingertips to elbows, switch sides, bent over and then toss it on the kitchen counter without touching same counter. I’ve done this many times!!

  145. You hear “give me what I want, NOT what I ask for” at least once a day!

    When the art of “mind reading” is part of your job description!

  146. Chance to cut chance to cure
    Have that list of who is never to touch me on call, will call ahead even if leg is hanging off.

  147. The cafeteria questions if the coleslaw is stale. They say Send it to the OR, they eat anything!

  148. I do a LOT of endo, so when the word Diarrhea comes up, it is always followed by everyone saying, “Cha Cha Cha ” ! Also Rectum ? Damn near killed ’em !

    1. When the surgeon’s cell phone rings like that, I don’t answer it. When he complains about it I ask him if he needs me to circulate or play secretary?

  149. When the Doctor is upset because you’re not helping him and tells you
    “If we’re ever in the woods and a bear attacks me…. Help the bear!”

  150. When the doctor comes on after you have busted your a$$ getting the room ready and he says “I’m in a hurry, I’ve got another case somewhere else in an hour, let’s move”. My eyes say Your failure to plan is no emergency in my book!

  151. You use the term “code brown” at home.

    You wish you had a rolling magnet when you drop an earring or something metal.

    You hand someone scissors as you would on the field.

    You open everything as if it’s sterile.

    Your kids use aseptos/syringes (clean and needle less of course) in the bathtub.

  152. Omg……I about died!!!! I count sliverware at home….or pass back to back with whoever is nearby!!!!

  153. Lining up your make up, hair products, etc in the order you will use it.

    Setting up your kitchen table the same way every time.

  154. As a PACU nurse you know who you do and do not want in your room if you have surgery because you have heard or recovered every nightmare that has happened, and yes once again it is usually anesthesia lol My favorite as a pre/post nurse is the first call into the OR to hold a limb for a impatient ortho doc that you have heard the horror stories if you do not do it correctly.

  155. Your surgeon knows exactly how upset you are with him/her by the intensity of the instrument hitting their hand!

    You can “hold it” longer than anyone you know. No pee breaks on long cases!

    1. When your in the lunch line after it’s closed and they didn’t get the call you’d be late. You’re staring at the empty lunch cart and the administrator comes in for his afternoon break coffee and pie. He sees you and says “Oh, you are here for lunch….I don’t like to see OR girls down to lunch! It means your not busy!!!

  156. You know the exact amount of fluids you can take in on a break to make it till your next break without having to pee

  157. My daughter is an OR nurse, and I understand most of what is on this sight. This is great. I am a retired teacher. I bet we could do the same thing about teaching. Loved this site.

  158. Hv loved the comments, same all over America ! Even after 48 yrs in the OR… One of my favorites remains from our first studies in the lab. I taught Surgical Technology for many years & every class after bout 2 weeks would say how family or friends from other programs would laugh at them at meal time. At home, the student stands back a foot as they lean over the table to fill their plate. With friends, especially at a fast food place, u hold ur burger in the air &, with one hand, methodically take the top flap off the burger & tuck it under fingers holding the burger … followed by left, then right, &, lastly, pull the final flap toward u & tuck it under, just like opening an item requiring sterile technique & presentation. I stopped laying my burger down decades ago ! I eat it from the wrapper in my hand til it is gone. Those aseptic principles are never shed if learned & practiced.

    We scrutinize every TV show with any perioperatuve parts & can’t resist telling whoever is watching if it is nearly authentic or what blatant mistake was just made !

    Not a single regret for nearly half-century of perioperatuve sameness as well as changes. We thot we’d done it all, then, the humongous expansion of endoscopy leading to major cases without opening patient, then total joint replacements, surgery on a beating heart … Rarely a dull moment, even with hurry up & wait … We NEVER learn it allllll … Stay alert …

    1. Is that 15 minutes of surgeon working time, because that equal 30 minutes or more of real time. Or is it 15 minutes the surgeon was waiting, because that’s only 2 minutes of real time.

  159. When I see a layer of dust on any surface at a restaurant all I can think of is do they even know the term “G.I.”? Clean your horazontals people!!

  160. You can open the OR door and autoclave with your feet, because your circulator is nowhere in site….again.

    You can spin tie yourself to keep your gown from falling off…because your circulator is nowhere in site….again.

  161. “…..and that IS what he/she said” is always thrown in at the appropriate moment for the maximum amount of chuckles/stress relief!

    One of the few places you’ll hear well educated adults saying “lefty loosie, righty tighty” out loud.

    1. Oh he knows. And at the end of the case, when he says “Thank you” what he’s thinking is “How did this lazy-ass cretin with an IQ of 12 ever get a job here?”

  162. When you are a Circulator and. The scrub nurse has not checked his lot before scrubbing and so you have to move like a hurricane to get what is neede d and add on to that you have to answer bleeps and be a dj as well.

    1. It even worse when your set up for a laparoscopic procedure and they tell you it’s open with Ria, argon, ect.

  163. When you run into a coworker outside of the OR you say: ” I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on”

    1. Ever cook one in the autoclave? We did in the 70s and it was great! And when someone says how are you you reply dunno I haven’t seen the schedule yet

      1. Absolutely! And the days of keeping sterile water in glass containers in the autoclave so the water would be hot enough for the pre-start glove wash. Wow…that’s a blast from the past.

    2. using a silk suture on a keith to sew up the butt end of a turkey to keep the stuffing in, and realize you can tie with one hand

  164. When a surgeon acts an” a..h…” , ask you a question and you answer ” yes doctor” very politely … But deep inside you it means ” F… You”

    1. I was told by my favorite gen surg that responding “That’s nice” meant the same thing…

    1. Or when x Ray techs trawl the O.R. looking for blue wrappers because they or a friend are moving. lol.

  165. A year after leaving the OR you still have a more than decent supply of AA batteries.

    You come back from vacation and realize you’ve missed the smell of the bovie.

    Blame anesthesia, the resident, or when possible, the anesthesia resident.

    You’d rather stay home in pain because you know who’s on call if you need surgery.

    All your kitchen towels are blue, and your baby’s burp rags are lap sponges.

    Your scrub tech heated a pot luck roast in the autoclave. …..yes, she really did, and it was so good!

    1. macaroni and cheese and ribs kept warm in the autoclave for a going away party! Definitely always finding out who’s on call when in the ER. Have preferred surgeons numbers in my phone. Also check who is anesthesia. And unfortunately in my OR it is usually the circulators fault for everything…even though it usually is not! My favorite is when you haven’t worked with a doctor in a year (and you do multiple services) and you ask what suture they want they respond with “same thing I always use” or it’s on my pick sheet…which it never is!

  166. After turning the pt lateral on the vacpac, someone always says “suck it till its hard!”

  167. You stand in line at the grocery store with your arms folded like you’re scrubbed in, or you open a bandaid like you’re going to flop it on the table. Or when a family member asks for scissors I had it to them like I do in surgery and get funny looks.

    1. I have caught myself counting napkins when cleaning off the dinner table & unwrapping a stick of butter like I will be handing it to the scrub.

  168. Rushing to set up the case and suddenly surgeon informed you that the case is cancelled because of patient uncontrollable BP

  169. Omg!!!! So true. Extubated a pt is so gross. The excess saliva, phlegm, puking after anesthesia, and gagging on the ET tube make me want to vomit but I can handle anything else.

    1. Me, too. All the blood in the world is fine, but a little vomit, phlegm, …..I gag right along with them and have to leave the room.

    2. I can wipe poop ALL day, but keep me away from mucous ! OMG…I’ll gag. Even talking about it !

    1. THAT is Ssooo true in any hospital, ANY city that performs 8 hr cases, especially if it is the day u work ur 2nd job, hv a long commute + dressing x2, & u KNOW no one will come to relieve u on time & u will be asked to stay over to finish case because ur “into” it …

    2. Exactly,cuz your thinking ,omg only 5 min till she comes back.this table is a mess,And then its,like”where the hell are they”. and then its”Bastards” lol

    3. How about when you have a new person in the room and desperately ask them to get you a ” henway” and they are like ….” Whats a henway”? And you say About 5 pounds!

  170. When the surgeon complains the lead apron is too short & you tell him “That’s not what I hear!”

    1. You go postal under your breath after your charge nurse tells you 15 minutes past your shift that she doesn’t have anyone to relief you. And oh by the way do you mind finishing the case!

  171. When a Surgeon ask you “Is this a fresh Beaver Blade?” and you respond. I dont know, smell it! lol

    1. I have been a Surgical Technologist for over 30 years, and I’d like to share a few funny moments, I was doing a Total Hip and we were waiting for the cement to dry. I had a glob of cement as well as the surgeon and a resident. The surgeon asked me if mines was getting hard yet, I said no. He said neither was his. Then the resident chimed in and said ” well mines is hard , but of course I have been playing with it. It was then he realized that he had said the room broke out in hysterics !!! but my all time favorite was I was called in 3 am for an appendectomy on a 80 something year old woman. The anesthesiologist was a real dry kind of person ( no personality at all) we are setting up when we heard ” Heyyyyyy Doc do you know what the bumps on a woman’s nipples mean? of course we all stopped and turned around and looked at the Dr & patient including the surgeon. The Anesthesiologist started pushing drugs quick to knock her out lol but she said loudly ” it means F&^K Me in Braille ” omgggggggggggg I’ve never laughed harder at work

  172. You can tear tape, open water bottles and cut suture with either hand. You can in the same spot for hours holding retractors without moving .

  173. – Circulators know their most important jobs are pager secretary and DJ
    – When a patient with thick secretions is being extubated, you literally duck for cover
    – When a case is cancelled after you’ve set up, it just feels really weird to touch the set-up without being scrubbed in.
    – You’ve taken home unused towels and drapes for home improvement projects.

    That’s all I can think of for now. I am also a travel OR nurse. Loved this list!

    1. Or when you’re having surgery and you suddenly feel super naked being wheeled into the room without a mask

  174. You know what kind of day you are going to have in the first 2 munutes of your shift as you check out your assignment.

  175. …you can talk about sex and bowel functions while eathing anything in the lunch room but get squeamish when anesthesia is extubating a patient and the “drool” touches your arm.

    1. Totally agree. I can deal with blood, guts, pus, poop and pee but keep that spit away from me!

      1. We had a nurse who couldn’t stand cleaning the umbilicus. Another nurse was teasing her, bragging about how he could do spit, code Browns, belly buttons, vaginas… And she replies back “I LOVE vaginas!!”

    2. Yyeeessss!! YES!! So many of us cannot handle extubation drool or ccoughs. Seriously I could gag. Lol

  176. When you have a list of nursing and/or anesthesia staff who aren’t allowed to touch you if your ever a patient in the OR

    1. I can relate to this! I have been retired for several years and after reading all these posts feels like I was just there yesterday. And nothing has changed it’s so great, I love this site!

    2. Too funny. We once had a “no J rule” for crna’s. if their name began with J you didn’t want them! lol

    3. I called this information the one great advantages of working in the OR u know the best surgeons ,anesthesia, and who u want to scrub and circulate for every type of procedure you may need or your family members may need . The great thing is you actually get to pick your anesthesiologist,cause they do rule in the OR what they say goes.

  177. when you have a list of nursing and/or anesthesia staff that can not touch you if you ever have to come into the OR!

    1. OMG this is so me, 30 years into this I can carry on an entire conversation using fuck in every single sentence!

  178. #22 the word flip can be the source or great relieve or anxiety. “You’re getting a flip room!” Say what? I’m…. I’m. I’m actually gonna get a break today. Joyful sigh. Or “we’re flipping that total reverse shoulder revision that was suppose to go an hour ago in your room after this case is over.” But….but…. I’m so hungry I think my brain is eating itself.

    1. So true! Like when your nice Ortho lineup is canceled and they throw a Crani or AAA in your room

  179. All this is true!!! Here is my OR-ism # 21: You find out you have a latex allergy patient only after you set up the whole back table with Latex gloves 😡

    1. They make you set up all over again, then the rep gets mad because he or she may not have any back up sets , lol….Now that will just messes up everyone’s day..

      1. I had a talk with my scrub tonight because she always gets so upset if the patient has a latex allergy and she has to break everything down, re-pull the case, and re-open it. I was like “how about you just set up all cases with latex free????” There is no reason to risk it.

        1. I so agree. I always set up with latex free, biogel blue indicators actually. The cost savings are huge. I work the midnight shift and we don’t always get a complete history until we see the patient in the holding room, or as they are rolling them into my room, so latex free set ups are a must. I can’t bare to waste an entire set up just to satisfy my glove preference.

    1. Ditto

      Loved every minute of it. 20 years…when given choice I will scrub every time. Out for 12 years but feels like yesterday.

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