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Scrubbing before surgery can be an awkward time for residents who have to spend up to 5 uninterrupted minutes standing next to an attending while you both wash your hands. Casual conversation can be difficult, particularly when resident and attending have nothing in common other than the immediate need for hand washing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a few phrases at the ready to help break the uncomfortable silence.

18095443_m1. “At this rate, how long do you think it would take to scrub our entire bodies?”

2. “Next time let’s scrub each others hands.”

3. “Sometimes I purposefully don’t clean under every fingernail.”

4. “I feel like we should be whistling something. What should we whistle?”

5. “Instead of going over the steps of surgery right now, how about we go over the steps for making a badass egg-white omelet.”

6. “Do you ever pretend that this brush is a fistful of quarters and your hands are made of scratch off lottery tickets?”

7. “You know if we rinse and spit with this Hibiclens, we wouldn’t even have to wear masks.”

8. “Studies show that scrubbing reduces risk of infection by 92%. It also increases the risk of making a best friend by 100%.”

9. “Boy, my essential tremor really makes scrubbing effortless.”

10. “I usually scrub up to my shoulders just in case my muscles blow my sleeves off (applies to orthopedic surgery only).”

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34.2K Shares