Friday, March 20, 2009

Needle Stick, Limbo and Stuff

That just about sums it up. All done. The End. I wish I could just re-title the next month's worth of blog as "Interim Permittee", but now the name reaches back to the beginning. It will change again because everything is in flux even as I sit here doing nothing waiting to learn when I can take the boards. Here I am in limbo; not a student nurse, not a Student Nurse, not a nurse. I'm an Interim Permittee. That's a person who occupies the time and space between finishing school and passing the boards. So my last week of nursing school went something like this:

No one could start the IV on the former heroin addict (I was able to draw blood from the IV start, but couldn't thread the catheter) and so an anesthesiologist was called in and s/he re-capped the needle on the lidocaine after using it on the pt (Double bad practice = re-using the needle in case another site needs to be used plus re-capping the needle. Hey, all the cool kids do it. Heck, I had done both earlier.). The needle curled under and went right through the cap and into the anesthesiologist's finger. Blood in the finger of the glove: it was a really bad stick. I had to tell the Dr the pt had a blood-borne disease.

So, kids, the lesson here is Don't Re-Cap Your Needles. Yeah, I know you just learned it in school, too, and you said to yourself at the time, "Why would I ever re-cap a needle?", but it's common practice and it's a major cause of needlesticks. I saw it happen.

My very last day I picked a pt who was at 9 cm thinking that we'd have a baby and she stayed at 9 all night and then came the ugly late decels and the trip down the hall to the OR where I said goodbye to the pt right after shaving her abdomen. Who knows how the story ended. And with that I walked out of the hospital and into the night and out of nursing school without so much as a round of applause or a handshake or... well, anything. I was just finished.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Molly! Now what? ack! Did you already take the nclex? I guess I will find out all next week.... -- katherine

Lael said...

I'm clapping over here!
Congratulations to you!

That's scary about the needle stick. My friend got Hep C that way
and she's been dealing with it ever since,ugh. I was on insulin when preggers and after jamming that needle into my finger a couple of times,learned my lesson.
I can still remember how much that

Molly said...

Haven't taken the NCLEX yet, no (I've referred to the NCLEX in my post as "the boards").

Thanks Lael. The very frustrating thing about the stick I saw, too, was that the needle wasn't a safety needle. Most needles available these days have some sort of safety mechanism. Maybe the hospital was trying to save money or maybe there aren't tb syringes (used to instill a lidocaine bleb) w/ a safety...? Most hospitals are converting to insulin pens which are kind of hard to use, but safe and less wasteful than traditional insulin syringes.

Kitt said...

Sigh of relief for now. More adventures to come!

Poor doc. What disease? I fear to know.

Molly said...

Hep C, Kitt

Anonymous said...

Wow, Molly - WTG on making it thru and am sending prayers/good thoughts for your boards. My boards'll be the end of June, and nope, no jobs in New England either. Not what we student nurses expected, but something'll turn up... mostly cause it has to lol


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