Today I begin what I am sure to be a long, arduous process of atoning for my every IV sin. Out of the tens of thousands of patients I’ve treated, I’ve gained intraveinous access thousands of times. Probably I’ve missed a thousand or two more times than I’ve stuck and now it’s time that I pay.
If you’ve been reading my blog for much time, you probably know why. My wife, who is now Gkemtp(it), completed bloodbath class in paramedic school today. She’s now “signed off” to perform IV sticks and is willing, nay, eager, to practice on any willing, or in my case reluctant, warm body who gets in her way. As her husband who she has seen performing IV access skills on countless patients, I am seen as the perfect pincushion practice patient.
When coaching students new in the arts and sciences of darting blood vessels and sliding straws into them I usually say something like: “Don’t be afraid to hurt the patient. Don’t pull away if they whimper. It’s going to hurt, just stick them anyway.” I tell them this because every needle hurts a patient to a varying degree. While I don’t feel needle pricks for intramuscular injections in the deltoid muscle, I think that IVs are rather “ouchy”. When you’ve got to stick a patient, it’s going to hurt them. You’ve got to go in and get it done, don’t be tentative, don’t dilly dally around. Go in for the kill and stick it in there quick. If you’re slow, or you’re trying to be “gentle” you’re actually hurting them more so than you would be if you just were quick and to the point. “Jab that needle in there”, I say.
Of course, sometimes I miss IVs. Sometimes I’m just on a cold streak and I can’t hit a vein to save my life… or the patient’s for that matter. During those periods I feel sorry for my patients, but if they need a line they need a line. Luckily those time periods don’t last as long as they used to after a decade or so, and I promptly return to my usual standards of mediocrity.
And now that Gkemtp(it) is signed off by her paramedic instructors to perform IV sticks, she needs practice dummies. As her husband it’s my duty to pony up my vascular access points and commence the bleedin’.
Owch, ouch, and owwie!
Even though Gina hasn’t technically missed an IV attempt on me yet she has started a few of them on me. It’s not the first time I’ve offered up my tender vascular system for the education of others, and it probably won’t be the last… because there’s four other people from one of my agencies in paramedic school, and three from the other. Every darn one of them is a maniac waiting with a needle ready to pierce me. They ask a lot. They beg, they plead… and in the case of Gkemtp(it) they demand.
Really, I’m freaking afraid to go to sleep at night only to wake up and find myself riddled with holes and in fluid overload!
So, if you’ve ever been my patient when I’ve been having a bad IV streak… I’m sorry. Look, I said I was sorry and now I’m atoning for it.
Gk!? What do you have in your hand!? No!!!!11!!