ATLANTA, GA – With Christmas right around the corner, you would think medical providers far and wide are scrambling to find and wrap presents for their family and friends, especially if they are working this particular week. Surprisingly, that is not the case. It is estimated that 100,000 in-hospital MacGyvers across the country are staying cool under the pressure and improvising without breaking a sweat.
“Piece of cake,” says sassy ER nurse Gwen McDonald, as she wraps at least 30 Christmas presents armed only with trauma scissors, medical tape, and sterile drapes. Clearly, this is not her first time doing this. “Why waste money buying wrapping paper when you can do this? It comes from the heart. Seriously, I got the sterile drapes from the cardiac cath lab.”
“This isn’t stressful, this is fun!” explains pediatric critical care medicine resident Molly Stevens. Instead of using a boring old gift bag and brightly colored paper tissue, she places her nephew’s new stuffed teddy bear into an emesis bag and fills it with gauze and N95 respirators. “This really brings out my creative side.” She finishes it off with a wrist restraint tied into a festive bow. She smiles and holds the gift out with pride. “Voila! You like it?”
Though providers like McDonald and Stevens were fortunate to get their gifts, other providers like Brandon Keller and Sarah Headley weren’t so lucky. You would think that would faze them. But again, no worries there.
“You know what’s cooler than a superhero with X-ray powers?” asked radiology tech Brandon Keller. “Real life X-rays.” Though it’s unclear how he plans not to violate HIPAA, Keller is confident his sons will love the collection of X-rays depicting not only fantastic fractures, but also objects found in unusual places. “The light bulb in the butt is always classic.”
“My daughter has always wanted a bicycle, so this gift is going to blow her socks off,” said plastic surgeon Sarah Headley. She decontaminates a wheelchair and covers it with a beautifully decorated pattern of DNR and DNI stickers. “This is even better than a bicycle.” She is also packing a pair of new yellow patient socks just in case her daughter’s socks are actually blown off.
Chief Medical Officer of Atlanta Health Sciences Barry McMichaels loves this time of year in the hospital and admits he purposely overstocks supplies in order to help out his employees during holiday gift crunch time.
“After a few years of doing this, you become good at identifying what’s gonna be a big hit and what’s not,” begins McMichaels. He skillfully wraps several used Petri dishes using only ACE bandages and a sling. He adds some color with a contact precaution gown. “This year, we anticipate procedure kits are going to be huge: radial art lines, LP kits, paracentesis and thoracentesis kits, chest tubes, not to mention facemasks and sterile gloves. Those sterile gloves go like hot cakes every single time, it’s amazing how Santa brings out the hand hygiene!”
Secretary Jonathan Jones always makes sure he works during this time of year.
“This time of year really makes you realize how many true artists are here working at this very hospital,” commented Jones, weaving several pieces of Foley tubing into a picnic basket. “I love it. We’re blessed. We’re very blessed.”
Thanks to The Nerdy Nurse for leading us to the pic of a fantastic gift, the urinal wreath!