Friday, January 21, 2005

The Unlikely RN Keeps Her Lunch

I did it! I neither gagged nor vomited; I didn't even bat an eyelash while aspirating stomach contents from my patient's nasogastric tube. When I removed a mucous plug the size of a centipede from the tubing, I simply raised an eyebrow at it in a seasoned nurse-ish way as if to say "What else have you got to show me?" I got so confident that after I left my patient's bedside once, he called after me: "Aren't you supposed to turn the suction back on?"

Oh yeah, I am.

All things considered, it wasn't too bad and I got to learn a lot about the veritable palette of green our stomachs are capable of producing. Anywhere from sage to neon - I swear.

I also performed (wait for it): foreskin care. When it's there, you have to take care of it and that is that. I went for the warm, soapy water but others prefer simple normal saline. Someone even recommended a mix of peroxide with tap water.

The only time I felt queasy today was when I watched an IV therapy nurse look for a vein. These nurses are amazing and spend all day going around and starting up new IVs for people. They are vein hunters par excellence and an inspiration to someone like me who can't even take blood yet. However, today I saw what happens when these exceptional nurses can't find a vein. They essentially get the needle under the skin and take about a dozen or so blind stabs into the flesh hoping to draw blood. It was awful to watch and very lightheaded-making. I told my patient if he were any younger he would get all the stickers and prizes in the sticker and prize basket for undergoing such a thing but instead all I could offer was some chapstick.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ilan Muskat said...

Aw, jeez, that poor guy. I'm always in awe (and in rapt gratitude) at the ninjaesque competence of my Phlebotomists when giving o' the Bloods. To be poked and *often* is a chilling scenario.

That said, good on ya' with the tubes nonvomition and such. He didn't really need the suction on anyway.

11:44 AM  
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