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.