Kidding, obviously. Today, one of the more senior doctors leading our patient safety conference recalled memories of a time when nurses would light the cigarettes of attending physicians during surgery.
The scrubbed in attending would hold up his gloved hands, elbows bent by his sides, and the nurse would proceed to push a ciggy through the surgeons mask. The nurse would then light the cigarette, hold it up, and maneuver it until the physician was satisfied with his smoke intake. This is of course all necessary to maintain sterile technique.
For a host of reasons, this is one of the most absurd things I have head.
I wonder what we will look back on as common practice today and deem as totally absurd in twenty years. Working in a culture where people would chose not to speak up on behalf of a patient for fear of being perceived incompetent comes… Continue reading
We don’t always know enough to help a patient heal from a disease or illness. In medicine, we don’t always have all the answers.
But other times, we totally do. In fact, there is a group of people called attending physicians who are employed by hospitals to have lots of answers and to provide guidance in times of medical uncertainty.
Today, our conference room in Telluride housed some of the most accomplished nurses, medical students, and young doctors in American healthcare. Many individuals shared stories of hesitating to page on-call physician late at night. Providers and nurses hesitated to page because they did not want to be perceived as incompetent, or perhaps more upsettingly, they did not want to suffer any untoward consequences form waking or disturbing the on-call doc.
This mindset needs to end. Attending physicians and on-call doctors are paid by the hospital to provide guidance and oversee… Continue reading