There aren’t many ways in which my kitchen tools overlap with surgical instruments. I don’t use tiny scalpels or tweezers—I’m just never cooking or preparing anything that requires that level of precision—but there is one accessory that’s found in both an operating room and my utensil drawer: my favorite kitchen shears, which aren’t from the restaurant supply store, but rather from the trauma bay.
How did I get my hands on these implements? Through a friend who is doing her plastic surgery residency at UPenn. While I was cooking dinner, she was examining my perfectly good, run-of-the-mill kitchen scissors. “You know,” she said. “You should really get some trauma shears.” Though I hope to mostly avoid trauma in my kitchen, she explained why I might be interested: They’re shears meant to cut the clothing off patients who arrive in the trauma bay, which means they’re both strong and super sharp. They’re designed to be ergonomic, and have a tab on the end of the blade that prevents you from cutting yourself when you use them. They’re meant to be easily sterilized in the autoclave, so the dishwasher is no problem. Many of them have a carabiner in the handle to clip to your scrubs (or in my case, apron). They come in a bunch of colors and, crucially, are very, very inexpensive.