Saturday, June 17, 2006
A Simple Blood DrawIt sounds like a joke: "How many people does it take to draw one tube of blood?" Answer: "Depends on where you work, I suppose."
I drew her blood a few days ago. She told me I wouldn't be able to, that no one ever did a good job, and that I was going to hurt her. She had tiny veins that were deep and the other nurses decided I should do this. I did get both tubes, and it did hurt she told me. I haven't any cure for that - I've got to use a little needle to get in through the skin to where the blood hangs out. I told her I was sorry it hurt.
Today she refused the draw. Told me it "wasn't neccessary" and that she would not be participating in anything with me involving needles. I had hurt her, and now we'd never get blood again.
I asked her a few times throughout the day. I tried to reason with her, bargain with her, and then let her know that I'd have to get the team together to hold her down and get the draw done. She continued to refuse.
I had no choice - I got the team together. Everyone put on gloves and walked down the hall to her room. I was hoping the sheer intimidation of all of those people in her room would change her mind. I really had no choice in the matter of doing the draw, but I didn't want to make it any worse for her than it already was.
She agreed. Faced with the idea of being forcibly held down or doing it on her own terms, she did what many people would do and relented. She asked if there was anyone else who could do it, because it was me that hurt her. No, no one else. She asked if we could do it another time when she was feeling better. No, no other time. "Ok, fine" she said, "but you're going to mess it up and you're not going to get any blood anyway and you're going to hurt me because you've got no skill and you're probably the worst blood-drawer I've ever seen."
Well, you know my day isn't all peaches and cream (aside from the glamorous stories I tell here). No pressure... just 5 staff and a patient watching me try to find a teeny-tiny vein to get a teeny-tiny amount of blood from. I have to say it was almost as bad as having a room full of family members looking on. I could feel the eyes on me.
I say a quick prayer to the gods of bloodletting and do my best, getting that wonderful flash of red into the butterfly and then popping the vacutainer on.
"Hmmph" she grunts. I imagine the translation was that she hardly felt it.
But there I am, hunched over, watching the blood flow so s.l.o.w.l.y into the tube. Damn. The team's still standing there, of course. Watching. It's like slow motion. I angle the tip down slightly hoping to get a better flow. It drips slightly faster.
She lets out a huge bored sigh. No translation needed.
Finally, I've got enough. After what seems like hours (but was probably more like seconds) I have completed the Miracle Draw and I'm taping a 2x2 on her.
I say "You did a good job of holding still, and I appreciate that you let me do it that way rather than having to use help. I hope it didn't hurt too much."
She gives me a deadpan look and says "You're getting better."
Posted by HypnoKitten at 9:53 PM