Okay, so I'm in this low-end procedures room, helping to do an excisional biopsy. I'm the non-scrubbed in person, grabbing non-sterile things, moving the table up and down, etc. etc. Then I offer to adjust the procedure light, the one on the arm. Now, the OR lights I am used to having a handle in the middle--which hardly ever actually positions the light the way you want--and very nice handles on the sides. So, first I try the handle in the middle. Then, making the ridiculous assumption without actually looking that this piece of crap light has the same side handles, I grab the side where the other handles usually are, firmly, to swing it around.
All I can say is I am damn lucky that I was wearing gloves, because even then I manged to burn the living @(*$%& out of my thumb, which I planted directly on one of the exposed bulbs. Then, being that there was a (conscious) patient and three residents trying to close up a giant wound about six inches from me , I had to pretend I hadn't just done that and it didn't hurt like a sonofabitch and I wasn't really, really embarrassed. I don't know how I managed to casually finish adjusting the light, pull off my gloves, and examine the giant blister on my thumb.
I quietly excused myself, taking my glove with me, to curse under my breath and find an ice machine and create a makeshift ice pack.
Which brings me to my next point: latex-free gloves are not very waterproof, and the only thing more embarrassing than burning your thumb on the overhead light during a procedure is dripping water from your makeshift ice pack onto the patient and the electrocautery plate during the procedure.
And I thought being a 4th year meant most of my bonehead moments were behind me...
Final side note: my favorite personal 3rd year bonehead moment was when, on my first day in the OR (actually, my first day of 3rd year!), the scrub nurse asked what size glove I wear (you have to know what size surgery glove you wear so they can pull the sterile gloves out for you). I said, I don't know, it's my first day. She said, hey, why don't you go next door to the other OR and ask Cindy to give you the glove sizer? I--and the other medical student--said, oh, okay! Sure! And like the pair of gullible brand new 3rd years that we were, went next door and asked for the glove sizer.
Well. The entire OR just looked at us like we rode in on goats. Then the circulating nurse kind of smiled and said, oh, yeah, the glove sizer. No, I think that's back in the other OR.
I'd like to say that we knew before the moment that we walked back into our OR and the ENTIRE OR--scrub nurse, circulating nurse, intern, resident, attending... hell, I think the anesthesiologists--were laughing heartily, that we had been had. But we didn't.
And they say doctors don't have a sense of humor. No one, of course, says that medical students aren't boneheads most of the time.
'Cause we are.
Okay, I am, anyway.