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Nurses: How To Keep Cool This Summer

It’s officially Summer! That means the temperature is rising, the a/c units are blowing (hopefully) but you still can’t seem to stay cool on your long shift at the hospital. In most hospital settings, thermostats are automatically set from a central point, and nobody has yet taken notice that heat rises. As a result, the folks in the basement operating theaters freeze while those of us on the ninth floor swelter! The patients, those lucky sons-of-guns, get their own thermostats…but the rest of us are sweating in the common areas. How to cope? Read on:

  1. Toss that hot food and drink! It’s best to consume frozen liquids like popsicles and frozen fruit bars. Chew ice. Drink cold sodas. Ice down your coffee.
  2. Use some of those frozen liquids to cool yourself off. If your food service offers ice cream bars, tuck one under each arm. Refrigerated blood and plasma, by the way, can offer the same cooling relief when stowed in an armpit or draped over the back of your neck. The bonus is that it warms it up for the patient!
  3. Ice machine + two bedpans + slip-on clogs equal a refreshing foot bath if you ever get the chance to sit down. If sitting down isn’t an option, a kidney basin full of ice can be tied on to the bottom of each of your feet for a portable version.
  4. Portable, tiny, battery-operated fans are available cheap at major retailers. Buy a dozen. Place them around your computer. Point them directly at yourself. Do not move.
  5. Switch to working nights, when it’s cooler. Sleep through the dog days of summer with your home thermostat set to 55 degrees. The overnight differential will help you afford the increase in your electric bill.
  6. As a last resort, draft interns or students to help. Purchase a few large palm-frond fans and convince the interns that you’re Cleopatra in disguise, and must be fanned constantly. This, given the famous lack of sleep that interns suffer from, will be easier than you think.

Stay cool this Summer! And remember, it will all end soon (hopefully).