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Appreciating The Beauty Of A Time Out In The OR

Mon, 01/30/2012 - 5:12am
Allison A. Greco

If you’ve ever spent time in the operating room, you are already familiar with the words the circulating nurse uses to signal the time out – the few minutes before a procedure begins when the surgical and anesthesia teams review a patient’s case. If you’re a non-medical type, or a medical student whose surgical rotations are scheduled late in the 3rd year, then you’re just as clueless as I was when I stepped into the operating room for the first time.

In reality, I didn’t so much step as I did tiptoe. And actually, I probably looked more like some sort of gunslinger – with my back to the corner, trying not to be noticed, and taking in my surroundings. Dressed head-to-toe in a light blue ghillie suit; a sterile light blue ghillie suit.

I was terrified.

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