Hi. I’m a budding Anaesthesiologist, where budding is just a polite term for “knows almost nothing hence a fattu“, and anaesthesiologist stands for “the job they invented candy crush for”. It also means that I spend majority of my time at work inside the ‘Operation Theatre’ which is NOT, as Bollywood has been telling us, any room with a red coloured zero-watt bulb above the door. Experience of working in an OT can range from boring to super exciting, depending upon whether or not you have battery and internet pack in your smart phone. The following may-or-may-not-be-true things about the ‘Operation Theatre’ have been inspired by 9 months of first-hand experience and a lack of purpose in life.
1. Security: Operation Theatre is a highly secure area, with several layers of protection, the first of which is a senile A.K.Hangal look-alike security guard, whose retirement age is probably past retirement age too, but who could pose some serious physical challenge to an 8-year old owing to his protein-rich diet of Daliya and moong ki dal wali khichdi. His weapon of choice is a lathi, which is in attack mode as soon as danger is sighted, and as soon as he puts on his ‘Paresh Rawal’ glasses. If ‘somehow’ some aggressive attendant gets past him, then there is the mixed formaline, phenyl and blood stench that should knock him out. If that fails, the last layer of security are the nursing sisters, or as Doctors call them now, female Deadpools. Weapon of choice: Verbal attack in high decibel surround sound audio. Collateral damage: The hospital staff bleeding from their ears.
2. Sterility: OT is the most sterile area of the hospital, which otherwise is entirely a Tuberculosis inoculation zone. Before entering the premises, I have to change into super-clean scrubs which I keep along with open namkeen and biscuit packets in my bag. Then I have to wear a cap to hide my cheap hair-cut and then a mask to hide my face, which is actually a good thing for general public. Then I wear OT-dedicated Relaxo Hawaii Chappals, or parts of it stuck together using white tape and dynaplast. I enter the OT and see a few mice running across the OT room, and irony shoots itself in the face.
3. The Lounge Experience: An anaesthesiologist requires to be active and vigilant inside the OT, or may be that’s just the reason we give to justify our demand for something to rest our rear end on, and we are not short on options:
4. Resources: Other than the medical staff, the OT manpower also includes technicians. A technician is someone who will not respond if you do not add the suffix ‘Ji’ after his name, and who, after start of a case, will disappear faster than positive audience reaction to a Rahul Gandhi speech. The machinery in the OT ranges from old to beyond repair to ‘probably this ventilator itself needs a ventilator’, but still all is not gloomy inside the OT, mostly because of the consistently leaking Nitrous oxide cylinder.
So, it is indeed a unique work place. It’s got thrills, adrenaline rush, challenges, but most importantly, electric charging points. I’m not kidding about that one.