Sunday, August 03, 2008

the measure of my cupboard

Four or five weeks ago I started working in the operating theatre of the local hospital. Mostly I loiter in the recovery room, but I also spent a couple of days with the anaesthetic nurses in order to get my head around airway management.

I don't mean to be demeaning, but a lot of anaesthetic nursing, at least in this hospital, seems to be about stocking cupboards. Not that that isn't a bad thing, being prepared with supplies for any possible emergency and all of that. I have no doubt that those anaesthetic nurses contribute to Australia being one of the safest places in the world to go under... it just doesn't make for exciting learning. I mean, I stock cupboards all the time. And I'm good at it. Too good.

So when the experienced RN set me to cutting trachy tape in readiness for tying people's laryngeal masks I set about it with gusto. Would 10 be enough? Fifteen? I had no idea, so I chop chopped away until I had a goodly looking pile. The RN choked when she saw it - no need to cut tape for the rest of the week after my super effort.

Later on we restocked the general supply trolley with drugs, needles, gauze and syringes. I set off with my shopping basket to the anaesthetic store room and again tried to figure out how much was enough. Did '25g needle +++' mean 10? Or 50? I hazarded a guess and threw what seemed like a reasonable amount of this and that in the basket. When I arrived back at the trolley I realised I had done it again... over stocked and no amount of pushing or shoving would fit everything in their place. The RN I was working with offered a bit of an exasperated laugh before turning and asking what my pantry cupboards look like at home...

How did she know?

It's not like I am greedy or selfish (oh, OK I am), but I like to be prepared for those unpredictable cooking emergencies. One cannot have too much food on hand. Can one?

I can't believe she figured me out so quickly. In less than a day she picked the state of my food supplies. Incredible!

On that note, I am still working on clearing out the old food in my pantry - yesterday the arrowroot biscuits (use by 2006) and a packet of strawberry jelly (surely there's enough sugar in jelly it never goes out of date) went towards jelly slice. Today I made cornmeal muffins and finished off a container of baking powder. I can see the bottom of several shelves now!

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At 7:30 am, August 04, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

It's fun to imagine your busy self stocking the medical supplies to the hilt. And, oh, you've reminded me I've got corn muffin mix on the shelf from...a year or two back, at least. Tim's the overstocker here, but we are always prepared.

At 9:38 pm, August 04, 2008, Blogger Sandy's Notes said...

I too have been trying to use the food that I thought I needed from my pantry. Little by little it's going. I'm trying to buy less too, that seems to help.

What really helps is to be at home and actual cook (I find this very helpful).

At 3:42 pm, August 07, 2008, Blogger Robyn said...

You crack me up! I'm a use by date freak so we go through things pretty quickly. So was the slice still yummy??


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