I think I mentioned before that, along with being the insane Christian conservative of the hospital, and being too polite to be a surgeon, the other residents tease me about doing procedures on anything that moves – or doesn’t move, more accurately.

Today I blew my last chance of pleading innocent. Being at loose ends (as seems to be usual for me on this rotation), I was just wandering around the ICUs to see what kind of trouble other people were having, and maybe cheer myself up that I wasn’t having to take care of those problems. I found a couple lines to put in – various people having too many things to do at once, needing to be in the OR, etc, so I volunteered to put in their lines.

The guys found me apparently lost in the MICU, in the middle of a real mess. “What’s up, Alice? Is this your patient?” “No, I’m just putting in a line.” They cracked up, and claimed not to believe my explanation of having a really legitimate reason for being involved.

The best part is, those were some of the hardest lines I’ve done – and they could see that they were hard sticks. I’ve decided to embrace this game. If I can’t be in the OR, placing tricky lines is stressful and satisfying enough that I’m happy to be the one who comes to mind when people want lines done. After all, that’s part of a community general surgeon’s practice.