CALIFORNIA CITY, CA – Jonathan Marconi, an anesthesia resident at the world-famous University of California at University of California (UCUC) Medical Center, had become more and more frustrated by the scrub situation at his hospital when he finally decided to do something about it.
“I just snapped,” Marconi said, referring to the day he decided to take action. “I had been showing up earlier and earlier because something was always wrong with the scrub machine. Either it was out of scrubs or it only had XXXL shirts paired with XXXS pants.”
Marconi found himself racing around the hospital each morning trying to locate scrubs he could wear. On the day in question, which has become known at UCUC as D-day, Marconi had spent 45 fruitless minutes in search of scrubs when, in the boiler room behind the medical school anatomy lab, he found a scrub machine that told him it had his size.
“I was ecstatic,” he said. “I had to be in the OR in 3 minutes and if I didn’t get scrubs on STAT I was going to be late. As it was, I knew I was going to have to go straight to the EZ IO kit to get an IV in my patient to get back to the OR for a 730 a.m. start.” When the scrubs were dispensed it turned out they were actually two tops and no bottoms.
In what was later called the “Thriller scream,” Marconi vented his frustration. According to medical student Kate Turner, “It was the loudest thing I’ve ever heard. It shattered the glass on the scrub machine and three of the cadavers in the lab sat bolt upright and opened their eyes.”
When, later that day, Marconi was reprimanded for placing an intraosseous needle in an awake patient (to make up time from his scrub quest) with his testicles hanging out of a set of scrub tops that were tied around his waist, he decided he had had enough.
“I decided then and there I would never go through that again,” he told a reporter.
Immediately after work he went to the local tattoo parlor, Tic Tacs and Tats, where proprietor Jake “The Tattler” Romson said Marconi burst through the door like a man possessed, stripping off his two scrub tops and demanding a royal blue full body scrub tattoo.
“I was going to close for the night,” said Romson, “but how could I say no to a guy with that kind of determination? Plus it’s not every day you get to literally give someone blue balls.”
The next morning Marconi showed up to work later than he had in months. He stuck his street clothes in his locker and strode to preop in just his Danskos and a bouffant cap.
“It was glorious,” said CA-1 Metzenbaum, who was the first to see Marconi arrive in preop. “He looked like he was wearing a naked smurf from his upper arms down to his shoes. The only parts of him that weren’t royal blue were his face, neck and arms.”
Incident reports were filed by seven preop nurses, six circulators and three scrub techs but after an extensive root cause analysis it was determined that nowhere in the hospital bylaws were scrub tattoos forbidden. And, after agreeing to dunk his ballsack up to the grundle in a chlorhexidine bath in between each patient encounter, Marconi was hailed by the hospital administration and his department as a hero.
Eight other anesthesia residents and five surgery residents have followed in Marconi’s footsteps, bringing a windfall to Tic Tacs and Tats and greatly alleviating the scrub shortage.
Asked what he plans next Marconi said, pointing up at the life-sized framed picture of his blue balls that now hangs at the OR entrance, “It’s hard to follow up this kind of achievement, but I’ve got some ideas cooking.”
In the meantime he has been made Chief Resident and is on the short list to be the next Chair of the Department.