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arrowroot biscuits (use by 2006) and a packet of strawberry jelly (surely there's enough sugar in jelly it never goes out of date) went towards jelly slice.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!