The kindest cut? Getting fired in the middle of surgery.

So I just read today about a nurse at Dean Health Systems in Madison, WI being fired in the middle of surgery. This story is making the rounds on the internet and blogosphere and many people outside the medical field are freaking out. As a former operating room nurse let me explain: During most surgical procedures the operating room will have two nurses. A scrub nurse who is there to pass sterile instruments to the surgeon and also can provide assistance in the actual procedures. There is also a circulator nurse who, unlike the scrub, is not wearing a sterile gown and glove, and she is responsible for paperwork and bringing in any additional supplies needed during the case such as suture or other instruments. During an operation it is routine for a nurse’s break time or lunch to come up and they will get switched out by another nurse so they can get their lunch or break.
I’ll bet this nurse that got fired had that happened during her break or lunch. Unlike what a lot of people on the internet are saying, I’m sure she wasn’t dragged out of the room and fired leaving the patient and surgeon without adequate staffing.
Now, I’m not saying it’s not harsh to be fired on your break or in the middle of the day. That is not fun and I’m sorry for the nurse that had that happen to them. We once had an operating nurse fired during her break while she was in between cases. Ouch.
Do you have any stories to share?

  • 4 Comments...Your thoughts?


  1. The ONLY reason I can see that would make a firing of a nurse in the MIDDLE of any case would be GROSS NEGLECT – and I would venture to say – it had to do with the Fentynl that is given preop…. or some other behind the locked doors med – I mean… think about it… it HAD to be narcotic related… thoughts my friend???

    CatalinaYachtie from twitter

  2. Or maybe she doesn’t play well with others? But still, in the middle of a case? Tossed out of the room, okay, yelled at, yeah. But FIRED???? seems extreme. Bad PMS day for the surgeon.

  3. Bookwalterx says:

    I am sorry to let you know that according to both The Huffington Post and MSNBC that the CEO of West Deans Hospital the patient was left without the circulating nurse for the rest of the case after the nurse was fired. Neither publications have given a reason yet for the firing. I would suggest writing West Deans , as I have, and letting them know how disgusted you are with their lack of patient care.

  4. PJH says:

    She was in charge on anesthesia, and they had no one there to take her place. That is why the story got in the news and it is important. If she had just left, there would be no one to revive the patient.

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