SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After extensive evidence-based research, recent updates to the hospital policy for OR hats and attire were released at the staff meeting last Friday. New updates include calling for eliminating the “surgeon’s cap,” wearing full long-sleeve scrub jackets at all times, and complete removal of hair from all parts of the body. However, the most dramatic update called for complete decapitation of all OR personnel before coming within fifteen-feet of the surgical patient. The updated policy states:
“A clean surgical head cover or hood that confines all hair and completely covers the ears, scalp skin, sideburns, and nape of the neck should be worn. Head should be cleanly and completely removed from shoulders and neck in order to avoid any loose hair spilling near the surgical site.”
“We understand when you first read the rules, they sound a touch dramatic,” stated OR Manager Jan Markowskowitz. “But the real issue is patient safety. This is what is best and safest for our patients. I would also like to note that we have the full support and approval from AORN and the Joint Commission on this. ”
Response amongst OR personnel was tepid at best. Although most were accepting of the jackets and hats, the new decapitation policy created some controversy.
“I’m not necessarily against it, but it strikes me as a little inconvenient. I’d like to know how other places do it before I sign on, ya know?” said scrub tech Derrick Tolls immediately after the meeting.
“Well if that’s what I have to do to get ahead at this facility sign me up,” said charge nurse Cindy Johnson. “I’ve always been told I’m quite thick-headed when it comes to being the charge nurse, this will reinforce that idea. My hats off to the management for implementing this policy. This will certainly cut down on staff who don’t eat breakfast and get lightheaded. I guess you can really say that heads are going to roll.” Cindy Johnson was fired later that afternoon for violation of the hospitals strict three-strike no-pun policy.
The hospital management immediately began developing a plan to implement this policy as a pilot project in the facility and then throughout the health care system. They are investigating reprograming the Da Vinci robot for decapitation and actively searching for approved guillotine vendors in the metro area.