I have been told that the closest a man can come to feeling the pain of childbirth is have a kidney stone. Last week, I gave birth to a 7 x 3mm kidney stone. The pain was nothing like I had ever experienced before. I could not wait for the stone to either pass or be "lasered to pieces." Since I could not pass the stone, the next option was surgery. As I layed on the stretcher in pre-op, I noticed that the "footies" I was wearing were a different color than the person across from me. I asked a staff member if there was any reason for the different color footies, "yes" they responded. That brown color was for patients who were at risk for falling. Another color was for patients who had allergies. The color of my footies had no medical meaning, which means, I guess, I was normal - well at least according to my footwear. Interesting. Most people just see feet and stylish socks. In this case, it was a way for medical staff to identify specific concerns of their patients. Labeling is used in many ways to identify specific needs or concerns for all types of staff. Labels are used to identify loaner instruments, or items that need to be repaired. Whether it is feet, surgical trays or instruments, labeling is an important step in many processes to bring about success in our work. Even when laying on a stretcher, waiting to have a kidney stone lasered and broken up, I was able to find something to focus on that showed how creative people can be. In this case, it was the color of my "footies" that helped ensure quality care.


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