September 25, 2009

Stick it to ya!

After your first year in nursing you are qualified to do several things. Are these things exciting? NO, NO, NO, and NO. During my first clinical, I could help someone go to the bathroom, give them a bed bath, check vitals and change beds. All meaningful and necessary tasks that I like to refer to as the 'shit work,' which is actually pretty literal. Instantly, I recall wiping the ass of a gentleman with a hernia- think nuts the size of bowling balls. The only great thing about clinical is that you are assigned to only one or two patients, so you have more opportunity to get to know them, and as a result, devote more time and care to each.

In second year we get to the good stuff. Like needles. Ahhh. I hate receiving needles but I feel strangely excited about the prospect of giving them—must be my inner sadist talking. In out first needle lab today we were taught about subcutaneous injections. I assumed it would be easy, it wasn't as if we were trying to hit a vein or anything, just jabbing flesh. No biggie, right? If I had been tested today, I would have failed miserably. At one point my needle flew off of the syringe and almost landed on my neighbor. Good thing it wasn't used, but I think she still contemplating moving to another table.

When they said, "You really have to push on the needle to make sure it's secure,' they weren't shitting me. So, after learning this valuable lesson, I moved on to drawing up a needle. Air bubbles galore. And injecting the pad (mock flesh) felt very awkward. It wasn't as easy as I thought to administer medication while trying to keep the needle perfectly still, because too much movement hurts and hurting people is bad—so they say. I say, "Man up people! It only lasts thirty seconds at the most! Needles are supposed to hurt. If someone says differently, they’re lying!”

Just so you don’t think I should choose another career path, I would like to note that I have a tendency to complain and exaggerate—just a little—for effect. I am actually quite compassionate—most of the time.

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