Authors: Sherry Gorman MD
Quandary Publishing, LLC
ALSO BY SHERRY GORMAN, MD
PO Box 631129
This book is a work
places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used
Any resemblances to
actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © Sherry
Gorman, MD 2013
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husband and daughter,
with never-ending love
It’s Nothing Personal
Table of Contents
IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL
Dr. Jenna Reiner’s Land Rover fishtailed as she
turned into the parking lot of St. Augustine Hospital, nearly striking a cement
Inside the relative safety of
the parking garage, she felt relieved to have finally escaped the icy
Little did Jenna know, things
would have been much simpler if she would have had the good fortune to slide
off the road and into a ditch on her drive to the city.
Unfortunately, life dealt her a
She arrived safely
at work and began the day that would change her life forever.
The clock on the dashboard read 7:12.
Time was against Jenna.
She had only eighteen minutes before her
first case was scheduled to start.
she muttered, as she rushed to gather her things from the back seat.
Lassoing her stethoscope around her neck
with one hand, she unloaded her briefcase and extended its handle with the
Trudging across the parking
lot, wheeling her bag behind her, she had to dodge a minefield of chunks of
dirty, sloppy snow.
Entering the main lobby of the hospital,
Jenna felt a rush of heated air.
order to make up for lost time, she nearly sprinted down the narrow, dimly lit
hospital corridor toward the elevators.
The rubber soles of her operating room clogs were wet from the grime of
the parking lot.
With each step
against the worn, discolored tile of the hospital hallway, Jenna’s shoes let
out a series of high-pitched, relentless squeaks that echoed behind her.
Jenna approached the elevator, and the doors
a sigh of relief, jumped in, and punched the button for the third floor.
Only a few feet away, Jenna spotted a
couple of patients and hospital workers advancing toward her.
She knew she did not have the luxury of
wasting time waiting for the stragglers, nor did she have any particular desire
to be overly polite.
to see them, Jenna repeatedly pressed the close button, and the doors shut
before the others could enter.
elevator reached the third floor, and she anxiously glanced down at her
It was now 7:18, which
allowed her barely enough time to meet her patient, prepare the operating room
for anesthesia and, God willing, get one last chance to use the restroom.
She strode toward the main doors of the
operating rooms and frantically swiped her identification badge in front of the
The sensor’s light
switched from red to green, and the double doors swung open.
Jenna bolted inside with her bag
trailing in a wild track behind her.
Passing the assignment board, she located her designated operating room.
She grabbed a blue surgeon’s cap, tied
it snugly in place at the back of her head, and carefully tucked her ponytail
of brown hair inside.
the mirror, she nonchalantly pulled out a few wisps of hair from in front of
each ear – just enough to look more feminine, but not enough to get her
in trouble for having exposed locks.
Grabbing a mask, Jenna secured it over
Her deep, blue eyes were
her only visible facial feature, and they stood out well against the cap and
Satisfied with her
appearance, Jenna headed off to her operating room.
Upon opening the door to OR 2, Jenna was
chilled by the familiar, yet always unpleasant, draft of frigid air that
emanated from the operating rooms.
The Talking Heads’ song, “Once in a Lifetime,” blared from the operating
The lyrics somehow
seemed appropriately matched to her mood.
Inside the operating room, Hillary, the
scrub tech, and Rebecca, the circulating nurse, were busy counting surgical equipment.
Hillary, dressed in a sterile surgical
gown and gloves, fingered each item as Rebecca stood by and checked them off
from her count sheet.
in to hear Hillary identifying each item on her table, “Ten ray techs, five
laps, two blades, one hypo . . .”
The women paused when they saw the doctor
enter the room.
Rebecca spoke over the music.
“Dr. Reiner, I just wanted to let you
know that Dr. Hoover’s caught in traffic, and she’s going to be at least thirty
One of Jenna’s biggest pet peeves was to be
running behind schedule, but now that it was the surgeon’s fault and not hers,
she was grateful for the delay.
“Rebecca, you’re a life saver,” Jenna said
as she smiled underneath her mask and slowed down her hectic pace.
She made her way past the tray of
surgical devices and toward the head of the operating room bed, where her
equipment and medications were located.
Clumsily, she wedged her briefcase into the only crevice not taken up by
Jenna then devoted
her attention to performing her routine check of the ventilator, monitors, and
Like a prima ballerina
performing on stage, she floated through her routine.
During Jenna’s preparations, she discreetly
reached into her bag and pulled out a Diet Pepsi.
Rebecca caught sight of Jenna’s
indiscretion and glared at her, but the doctor knew better than to take
Rebecca’s feigned scorn seriously.
Looking Rebecca directly in the eye, mocking innocence, Jenna asked,
Then, defiantly, she opened
her forbidden soda.
The cracking of
the metal tab and the small explosive release of carbonation resonated
throughout the room.
a disapproving finger at Jenna, but the twinkle in her eyes indicated
Hillary winked at Jenna and said, “Hey, Doc,
we’ve all got our vices.
secret’s safe with us.”
Thrown off guard by Hillary’s gesture, Jenna
blushed and quickly turned her back on the scrub tech.
Rebecca and Hillary resumed their count, and
Jenna was ready to check out narcotics for her first patient.
She stepped in front of the Accudose
machine, entered her personal identification code on the keyboard, and pressed
her index finger over the red, illuminated biometric sensor.
After confirming a fingerprint match,
the automated machine came to life.
Grabbing the surgical schedule taped to her
anesthesia machine, Jenna scanned it for her patient’s name.
Her first patient was Michelle Hollings,
a twenty-two-year-old female scheduled for breast augmentation.
Just another routine case, Jenna
surmised, as she proceeded to enter the patient’s name into the machine.
Under Michelle Hollings’ account, Jenna typed
“Fentanyl” and touched the screen to select the 5 cc ampule from the menu.
One of the small drawers sprang open,
revealing a bin containing six glass vials filled with the drug.
Jenna took one, verified the initial
count, and closed the drawer.
She was about to retrieve Versed when
Rebecca asked, “Hey Dr. Reiner, I’m guessing you haven’t seen the patient yet?”