Most people are unaware of the myriad government regulations and documentation that goes on behind the scenes in the medical setting.
In the operating room, one of the items that must be documented are the times in the room and the times out of the room. Time in or time out. But, we also have to take a “time out”–actually two time outs–where we verify the patient and the procedure before starting surgery. The terminology gets confusing. But I digress.
Anyway, both anesthesia and the circulating nurse must document these times in different locations in the medical chart. AND THE TIMES MUST MATCH. I don’t know what happens if they don’t, but I imagine it would be like matter meeting anti-matter. The very fabric of our universe would be ripped apart if these numbers are not exactly the same.
So to avoid a universal catastrophe and destroy civilization as we know it, the circulating nurse and anesthetist verify their times before documenting them in the medical record.
Now so far, none of what you have read about has actually TREATED the patient. Apparently the government hasn’t worried about that yet. Right now, we are spending an inordinate amount of time treating your medical record. The outcome of your surgery is irrelevant as long as all the times match up correctly. But, I digress again.
So a given interaction to coordinate these times might go like this . . .
Circulating Nurse: “Do you want to make 11:13 time in?”
And then they dutifully document that in their respective areas of the chart.
Today, at the end of the case, though, the anesthetist phrased the question slightly differently . . .
Anesthetist: “Jane [name changed to protect the innocent], what time do you want to make out?”
He meant to ask what time she wanted to document for the time out of the room. But that is not how it sounded to everyone else.
Always on the ball, she responded, “Not right now, but I’m free later.”
For the non-medical record, Jane, who really isn’t Jane, didn’t actually say that. But she should have. We all had a good laugh anyway. And the universe is safe for another day as our times all matched.