Ever wondered what it’s like to work with people in healthcare? Everyone has their little quirks and ticks but healthcare feels like another world of weird. There are quirky people everywhere in healthcare and surgery is no exception. In my opinion, the physicians are definitely the quirkiest. They didn’t get to be surgeons by being like everyone else. In my 26 years of working as a certified surgical technologist, here are some of my most interesting stories of quirky people.
My Quirky People Experiences
Years ago, I worked with a doctor who was always running at LEAST an hour behind before we started the case. He always had excuses for why he was late or for why he needed to be somewhere. Whether he was late for his son’s soccer game or if he needed to leave soon for a game of golf, this man was never one to be patient. His work was never rushed, but he didn’t want to have to wait on us for anything. For some reason, he seemed to think we had control over the surgery time. Though he was a very skilled doctor, I will only remember the way he treated our staff and how he disrespected our time and the time of the patient.
Third Time’s The Charm
Sometimes the quirky people you work with are some of your favorites. I worked with a nurse that would be happy to get anything I needed. Whether it was a precautionary item or something I needed right away, she was always quick to help. She was so kind and I loved working with her, but every time I would ask her to get something she would blink three times before doing it. ALWAYS THREE TIMES. Though this was a definitely a quirky trait, she was so nice that it never really bothered me. I eventually figured it was a way to process the request with a memory technique.
Okay, so I guess this person wasn’t an anarchist. But, there are certain work balances that you just don’t mess with unless you want to cause chaos. Let me start off by saying that setting up your back table and mayo stand in a “standard” way is not required, but it is very much appreciated. One CST I worked with always set up her mayo stand long ways instead of sideways like everyone else. That’s all well and good, but relieving her for lunch or breaks was miserable because nobody could find anything!
How do I protect my reputation at work?
While some of these quirks might not seem so bad, they can leave a lasting legacy around your name. Some of the stories I listed above were many years ago and yet they are some of the only things I remember about those coworkers. A common annoyance among new STs is that they don’t quite know when to hold their tongue.
We are all people with strong personalities and most surgical technologists are brutally honest. We have to be able to ask the hard questions when we don’t understand or agree with something another medical professional is doing. But, we also have to know when certain things are and are not appropriate. I tell my students, “You have to know when to close your lips so those words quit falling out of your face.” Honestly, I’m just being practical. It’s okay to chat, but when the physician has a problem, you need to know when to quiet down.
This is a very rewarding career. It’s not for everyone, but I definitely wouldn’t do anything else! If becoming a surgical technologist sounds interesting to you, we’d love to get you connected. Call us today to learn what it takes to be a part of the surgical team!
From the desk of Lita Fitch, Community Care College Surgical Technologist Site Director