Friday, April 16, 2010

Losing my phlebotomy virginity*

*This does not count the one-night phlebotomy stand I had at a small party in college. I will save this story for another day, because it seems to disturb people.

Yesterday I went to the lab and trained with some of the techs. I drew 13 people's blood. At my hospital each tech/nurse has to do 40 patients to draw blood without supervision. I probably would have had more patients to practice on, but a bunch of people refused to let a person in training draw their blood. I guess I can understand that, especially after my recent unpleasant blood draw. Sometimes it's of frustrating, though. There's no way to perpetuate skilled services without allowing people to train on real patients...and it seems like the easygoing patients have to bear the brunt of this.

I seemed to be faking confidence well! I started it with a winning streak. The morning was good. Everybody had veins like garden hoses and the sticking was easy.

Then things got harder. I had some little old lady come in who had these tiny, tiny fragile little veins. I had an oncology outpatient who had tons of scarring. I had shallow veins and veins that rolled. I still feel like I am not always sure which needle would be the most appropriate to choose.

Overall, though, I think it was a successful day. I just need to find me some more veins to practice on. Any volunteers?

1 comment:

  1. That's so much better than what they did for us in med school. I remember we saw and practiced on a plastic arm, watched a couple people do it, did one or two with supervision, and then were set loose to do it on our own. SCARY!! I feel like after 40, I might feel a bit more competent to do be on my own, but in med school it's: See one, do one, teach one.