Doors

We love his one. Thanks for sending in.

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These are the doors separating the theatre from what I initially assumed to be the anaesthetic bay. A few weeks later I realised it was the LASER room when a massive hulk of a machine ended up taking up the space.

This place was brand new. When the doors were first put in they had a flat plate on them – ‘PUSH’ my mind told me. I tried that – nothing. The theatre nurse then pointed out the hand wave sign (white panel below light switch on right – previously had a hand picture on it). I waved my hand in front of the panel and was almost knocked out as the doors swung towards me.

I greeted my patient, put a cannula in and fortunately didn’t give them any sedation. I walked back into theatre – the doors swinging closed behind me. When I went to go back in to see the patient again the mechanism had broken. I couldn’t open the doors at all. I tried to get my fingers between them to prise them open but just couldn’t. I had to walk right around the hospital to get back to my patient.

Luckily we discovered that the floor was uneven on one side – the door would wedge open on it. Notice the scratch mark on the floor.

When I returned to the hospital a month later the handles had been screwed on with a nice sign saying ‘PULL’ (I sort of know what handles are for but thanks anyway). The LASER machine had been installed. A policy had been sent out – I love policies for making front line staff accountable for problems that management can’t be bothered fixing properly. Apparently the LASER machine had broken down because the room it was in had excessive temperature fluctuations. Staff in theatre had to make sure the doors were kept closed – shame they don’t actually close properly – notice gap between them probably caused by uneven floor.

The doors still don’t close properly – but at least we’ve got front line staff to blame now. Yippee.

So how did we score this one:

  • Obscurity & description – 9/10 check out book ‘Design of Every Day Things’ by Don Norman who went on to work at Apple and help create the iPad. Whole chapters on doors.
  • Chance of maiming – 6/10 potential to maim both staff and patients. Tops.
  • Effectiveness of solution – 5/11 doors appear to have evolved over time. Freaky.

Total 20/31 New high score. Though staff probably can’t get credit for this one – doors strangely did this on their own.

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