MAGIC CITY, ID—If you’ve been at Magic City Medical Center recently, you may have noticed that those iconic red sharps containers that used to hang on the walls have been replaced by magic sword boxes, complete with an assistant sitting inside of it. Marketers of these new sharps containers claim that these sword boxes are a much safer way to dispose of needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments.
“Think about it,” said hospital CEO Harry Blaine, “no one ever gets hurt in these contraptions. Magicians plunge dozens of swords into these things and the person never, ever gets hurt. We don’t know how it’s done, but it’s clearly effective. Meanwhile, with the old red containers, we would have dozens of needlestick injuries every year. It was time to try something different.”
So far, it’s been working magically. Typically, a lowly medical student or nursing student is chosen to sit in the sword box for their entire shift. Whenever medical staff has to dispose of a needle, they just jab it right into the box. That’s it—so simple. Most just walk away afterwards, though a few protective nurses ask for confirmation that the student inside is ok, at which point the student sticks his thumb out of the box and points it up or down to signal his condition.
For those wondering if the students get any special training prior to being placed inside the magic sword box, the answer is shockingly no. “Nope!” said Blaine. “We asked a few top magicians if they would train our students, but none of them wanted to give up their secrets. So, we figured we’d just let our students learn on the job.”
“We’re not really worried about it, though,” noted Blaine, adding that if there’s a mishap with a sharp instrument, then that’ll finally give the trauma surgeons something to do. (It’s apparently very quiet for the trauma department here in Idaho.)
And while the sword box has clearly been a huge hit, another magical innovation in the hospital has not. Vascular surgeons have been very vocal about their frustration over the unusual operating tables—which look an awful lot like magic “Saw-A-Woman-In-Half” tables—installed by David Copperfield Medical Supplies. “It’s crazy. Every time I use a saw to amputate a leg,” said vascular surgeon, Emmitt Wolf, “the patient somehow walks away from the operation with both legs still attached!”