Thursday, July 30, 2009

A worthy distinction

Yesterday at work I had the task of caring for a kooky person. I don't generally mind kooky people, being rather crazy myself. And I didn't even really mind this cockamamie lady though she did require more patience than the average patient. Anyways, I started an IV on her which was quite uneventful from my perspective. Meaning that I got the vein on the first try, I didn't have to "go fishing" as we say, and the whole thing took about 15 seconds. The patient had a different take on it entirely.

When I had barely pricked her skin with the needle she began this wail reminiscent of a vintage siren. The kind that starts as a far away hum but waxes to an ear splitting drone. I had to make a choice in that moment about how I would face her response. I was startled because I rarely, actually never, encounter yelling when I'm starting an IV. So I decided that I didn't care if she was screaming as long as she didn't flinch. So I paused and told her not to move her hand. She kept still and wailed again as I got into the vein, pushed the catheter in and taped the whole thing up.

After I was done she informed me that she had been in the hospital 60 times and out of all the IV's she's ever had the one that I had just inserted was the worst.

If this had been a sensible person I certainly would have felt bad. But because this lady was off her rocker I almost took pride in that distinction. If you're going to do something, you might as well do it big, right? The worst IV out of 60 hospital stays! That's going on my resume.

Just to give you an example of this lady's idiocy she also told me that she was allergic to blankets.

1 comment:

johnrgriffin said...


Blankets- make me warm
IV's- make me scream
Hospitals- make me go crazy


I TOTALLY empathize with you! This week has been a special week for me as it has been filled with loonies on my end as well. Ahhhhhh, such is life as a health care worker!

-John G.