Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards 2015 - September 2015 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 6 6 O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 Block Time Blues Dedicated OR time is hard to get and harder to hold. W hat's more valuable and precious than gold, Super Bowl tickets and a free lunch to any surgeon? Block time! Scheduled block time is what surgeons aspire and fight for. It's hard to get and, once attained, it can be even harder to hold on to. As a sage and wise anesthesiologist once advised me: "Block time is earned, not freely given." All surgeons have to take some shots early in their careers in order to ascend to the elusive peak known as dedicated time. As a young sur- geon, my starting times averaged 1 p.m. (Greenwich Time). My cases were bumped more than a Times Square pickpocketer, and the head nurse liked to place my cases after the vascular surgeon who was so slow that the circulator kept a diary. When you follow another sur- geon, anything can happen. The quick lap chole can morph into Nightmare on Elm Street replete with extended open incisions and frantic attempts to control bleeding. Four hours, 3 drains, 5 vascular clips and 2 units of packed red blood cells later, my calculated 2 p.m. start has transformed into permahold status. In those early pre-block-time days, my wife (Saint Marie) never knew when I would return home. At the start of the day, she didn't know whether to pack my lunch or pajamas. I used to get home so late I kept Conan O'Brien waiting. Slowly, I earned dedicated 7:30 a.m. start times, and, after years of apparently demonstrating reasonable proficiency, attained the Holy Grail of every surgeon: 2 rooms. However, it's just as challenging to maintain 2-room block time as it is to attain it. C U T T I N G R E M A R K S John D. Kelly IV, MD

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