It was a time-critical operation. The surgeon surveyed the site of the operation and mentally prepared himself for the work ahead.
Incredulous, the surgeon turned to the nurse who had answered.
“Scalpel isn’t an approved tool. I can’t give that to you.”
Identify your surgeons and give them the tools they ask for.
Update 10/8/2008: Talking with my sister several months ago now, she brought up an issue with this analogy: a scalpel is the most basic of a surgeon’s tools. (It would be like denying a computer programmer a keyboard.) This picture goes over the top to make its point. It would have been more realistic for the surgeon to have asked for something much more exotic, and that would have also shown how the hospital would take on some risk by trusting its surgeons in matters like this.