ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: Uhh...That's Not Cool, Right?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Uhh...That's Not Cool, Right?

Much of the mystique that revolves around surgery, surgeons, and the OR involves the intricate and time-honored tradition of "scrubbing in", the process whereby a person who will be invovled in the surgical procedure (whether that be the attending surgeon who makes the incisions or the peon medical student who cuts the ends of the stitches if he's lucky) meticulously lathers and scrubs his or her finger tips, fingers, hands, and forearm in a very specific fashion for a while, all before entering the OR to be specially draped by the OR nurse in a body cover, multiple layers of gloves, and a face mask. Needless to say, the utmost level of cleanliness, of removing as much contamination as possible, is a virtue of the operating room and permeates the ideals of surgery.

I bring this up because today, on my first day of my next rotation (orthopedics), I had the chance to scrub in on a few cases with the residents and attending multiple times, allowing me to really appreciate the level of cleanliness that these people aspire to. Given this huge precedent for cleanliness, what followed after one surgery struck me as odd:

We finished up a case and everyone left the OR. I followed one of the senior residents to the doctors lounge. I then followed him to the bathroom, where we both proceeded to do our business. (I should add that much of my life these days is spent following people around because I don't have the slightest clue what the hell I should be doing most of the time, so if this guy thinks it's a good time to take a piss...well then it's a good time to take a piss! - seriously, why the hell don't they talk about this kind of crap in the medical school brochures?) Then, after pulling my scrubs back up (again, I should remind all the ladies how amazingly hot I look in scrubs), I walked over to the sink and began washing my hands in the sink, filling my hand with a blob of soap and scrubbing it over my hands under a stream of water. Meanwhile, the resident finished urinating, pulled up his scrubs...and walked out the door.

Now I know that he did not walk straight from the bathroom into the OR to cut someone open, but I still found that behavior odd. How could someone so devoted to maintaining the utmost level of cleanliness not wash his hands after taking a piss? After wiggling his penis in his hands a few times? After possibly experiencing some post-void splashback onto his hands (hey, it happens to the best of us)? Would you want someone like that cutting you open? Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Have I been up since 5 AM? Will I be getting up at 5 AM again tomorrow? Can I keep asking myself questions?

Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there as something to think about.


Blogger The Chocolate-Obsessed Couch Potato said...

Not cool? Are you serious? It's far worse than just 'not cool'. It is so wrong. Man, I won't even touch a doorknob if I suspect the person who handled it before me had questionable hygeine. And a DOCTOR??!! Man, thanks for exposing the seedy underbelly of the medical world to me. My faith has been shattered.

10:14 PM  
Blogger sunkist_5000 said...

No Fake Doctor, that's not cool, but thanks for the image of a doctor who looks so hot in his scrubs, (your words not mine) with penis in hand...yummy!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it not true that, contrary to popular belief, that urine is sterile? BTW, I really appreciate your blog.


6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely NOT cool. Further proof that the medical underbelly is seedy...there is a specific attending who digusts a particular group of us - he NEVER washes his hands EXCEPT when he's scrubbing in. Rancid

3:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

DUDE, you're in med school as I am. You should know that urine is sterile! It's clean!

I can drink a patient's piss to diagnose him/her, and nothing would ever happen to me!

8:49 PM  
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