Thursday, June 24, 2004

SQ

SQ, or SC stands for subcutaneous injections which brings us to the next phase of nursing school: Needles! Yeah - sharp things + me! Yesterday we gave some insulin injections to a rolled up bandage that was a stand in for a human arm/belly/thigh. A "flick of the wrist" motion (EVERYTHING is a flick of the wirst motion in nursing - percussion is also achieved by wrist flicking) was demonstrated to me and I flicked and got the needle about halfway into my bandage cum arm. Halfway would hurt and make any mentally competent patient lose all trust in my nursing skills. Halfway is bad. Bad. On my second try I got the needle all the way in but I am a little scarred. They have "open lab" at lunch hour on Mondays and Wednesdays and I think I will have to start going.

They won't let us inject things into each other but we are allowed to injects things into ourselves. I think I'll try my belly on Monday. We've also been subtly told that no one would miss a couple of needles and vials of saline so go home and try it on each other. Nudge nudge. Stick stick.
Often, nurses are stuck with needles while re-capping needles. Therefore, we all have to be very careful. We've been told to use the following technique to avoid such accidents (follow with me now): take the veiny part of your wrists (the part just below your palms) and put them together, hold the needle in one hand (thumb and pointer finger) and its cap in the other and count to 5 as you bring the needle and cap together, contrating hard not to stick yourself. Do you look like a demented seal with special needs? Good! You're doing it right. No Hepatitis for you.
We also learned to take blood sugar which is very easy and involves a lancet which takes no skill. We lanced ourselves and my blood sugar was very low (82 - 2 points below hypoglycemia) so clearly I will have to take in therapeutic processed sugar throughout the day.

We'll learn to do intramuscular injections - IMs - (the ones that go deep and hurt afterwards like a tetanus shot) next week. IMs are exciting because if you mess up you can damage someone's arm or leg nerves and give them chronic pain for the rest of their lives.

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