As my name indicates, I am a nurse in the operating room. Since I've started, I have had to endure political discussions by surgeons who assume that everyone in the room agree with them. I do not. Because we are not on equal footing, I feel that I can't speak up. So, I am left listening to them espousing their views, and feeling wholly uncomfortable to express my own. I know that I wouldn't be fired for expressing my opinion, however, I could be blackballed from that surgeon's room. I've born this burden quietly, until today. I was doing a case in which the patient was awake. The surgeon, anesthesia provider, and tech were all bad-mouthing Wisconsin public unions and stating their vociferous support for our Governor. My patient said something to the effect of, "I'm probably the only person in the room who supports our president and thinks that that Walker guy is a buffoon." I said, "No, you're not alone. There are two of us." I was mortified! It's one thing to have these discussions when the patient is asleep, and I'm the only one being made to feel uncomfortable. It's a completely different situation when my patient is made to feel as though he is an outsider! I don't like to make waves, but I feel that this conduct was SO inappropriate that I need to sit down tomorrow with my director.
All of our patients pass through the same corridors on their way to the OR. The last time that my director was on vacation, I had to remove a racist, sexist print-out about Michelle Obama from that corridor! I've tried to coast along and go with the flow, but I am at my wit's end! Regardless of one's political affiliation, this behavior is utterly inappropriate. And tomorrow, I'm going to see that it stops. Anyone have any similar experiences/wisdom to share? It would be much appreciated.