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 Iíve treated, Iíve gained intraveinous access thousands of times. Probably Iíve missed a thousand or two more times than Iíve stuck and now itís time that I pay.
If youíve 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. Sheís now ďsigned offĒ 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: ďDonít be afraid to hurt the patient. Donít pull away if they whimper. Itís going to hurt, just stick them anyway.Ē I tell them this because every needle hurts a patient to a varying degree. While I donít feel needle pricks for intramuscular injections in the deltoid muscle, I think that IVs are rather ďouchyĒ. When youíve got to stick a patient, itís going to hurt them. Youíve got to go in and get it done, donít be tentative, donít dilly dally around. Go in for the kill and stick it in there quick. If youíre slow, or youíre trying to be ďgentleĒ youíre actually hurting them more so than you would be if you just were quick and to the point. ďJab that needle in thereĒ, I say.
Of course, sometimes I miss IVs. Sometimes Iím just on a cold streak and I canít hit a vein to save my lifeÖ or the patientís 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 donít 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 itís my duty to pony up my vascular access points and commence the bleediní.
Owch, ouch, and owwie!
Even though Gina hasnít technically missed an IV attempt on me yet she has started a few of them on me. Itís not the first time Iíve offered up my tender vascular system for the education of others, and it probably wonít be the lastÖ because thereís 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 pleadÖ and in the case of Gkemtp(it) they demand.
Really, Iím freaking afraid to go to sleep at night only to wake up and find myself riddled with holes and in fluid overload!
So, if youíve ever been my patient when Iíve been having a bad IV streakÖ Iím sorry. Look, I said I was sorry and now Iím atoning for it.
Gk!? What do you have in your hand!? No!!!!11!!