Archive for the ‘pre-med’ Tag

First time drawing a patients blood

The other night, it was my turn to draw blood from a patient at the hospital. Now. We’ve all practiced on dummy hands and feet or fruit but, never on an actual patient. We all took the Phlebotomy Class, sat through a drab lecture and watched the long videos. We could do it “Grey’s Anatomy” style and practice on ourselves, which I’m told use to be done but not anymore. I’m thinking that might’ve actually not been a problem for me because at least we would’ve real patient experience.

We draw blood and do labs at a certain time because by then, especially when a patient has just been admitted, we wait for all their paperwork to come in. I go in this patients room at 6:15 am, hoping she was an early raiser. She usually is but not that morning. I wake her up and I say,” Hey Mrs. So and so. We need to get some blood drawn for testing”. She’s cool about it and sits up in the bed.

So, I get all my stuff ready butterfly needle(awesome needle that actually looks like a butterfly with a retractable needle to prevent sticking oneself), two tubes(with the right colored tops), cotton, band aid and tourniquet. I tie her arm waiting for a vein to pop up. Usually, she’s a pretty good stick and it takes no effort to get her blood, not that morning! I tap her arm, veins pop up and as I go to stick her, the vein moves. It’s called “Rolling veins”. I do it again and, as I go to hold her vein in place with my thumb, I see it move again! I finally move to the other arm, doing the same thing I did with the previous arm.

On the left arm, the good vein just so happens to be at the corner of her arm. I stick the needle in there, go down as far as I needed and boom, blood comes out into the tube that I attached to the butterfly needle. As I grab the band aid, while holding the cotton over the stick, I tell her not to move before I put it on there. Somehow she flinches and the needle slides out before I pull the tubing to retract the needle and her blood drips on her pajamas and bed sheets!

So,not only did I have trouble getting her blood on my first try, she flinches and her blood goes everywhere. I’m thinking,”GREAT. I must look like a total idiot”! Now I’m nervous about drawing blood and people flinching. My confidence has been shot and I will probably freeze up the next time. No matter how nervous I am, I am suppose to walk into that room and act like I have been taking blood for years. Never mind you getting a kid or someone that does NOT like needles screaming and wiggling around while you’re trying to draw blood thrown on top of my confidence being shot. That doesn’t help at all!

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