Excuse me, what was that? "Just" a cysto?
That was when the irritation started to bubble. Actually, I felt really angry for a moment.
Anyone who thinks of a surgical procedure, even a so-called minor one, as "just" this or that is one of three things: a) uneducated/ignorant b) stupid c) indifferent. None of these is a good thing. I will not allow someone to reason with me that we can cut corners because something is "just" a small procedure. There are no small procedures. Someone can code and die during tooth extraction, and has. I don't want to hear "just," not with my patients.
As Phil entered the preop area with me following, the nurse who had asked him to place the IV asked, before she caught sight of me, "Did she say yes?" She saw me just as Phil was shaking his head. He repeated again to that other nurse, "It's just a cysto," as if to say, "I don't know why she's not agreeing to it."
I introduced myself to our patient, sympathized with her over her skin lesions and small veins, and explained that I wanted to have a look. She was a sweetheart about it. I placed the tourniquet around her left arm and asked Phil as encouragingly as I could, "How about this? Would you like to try this spot? Maybe further down, too..."