Friday, July 22, 2005

Knot about Knitting but Knursing.

I have recently begun to visit the nephrologist's office in happy SLC because I was incredibly sick and tired of the Foreign Doctor. Foreign Doctor who would have me come into the office once every month so that I could sit in the waiting room for 15 minutes, then sit in another room, the sort with charts and that odd bench that wishes it was an automatic bed, y'know what I'm talking about. There, a medical assistant takes my vitals and then the doctor comes in, sits and reads my chart for five minutes, tells me that everything looks fine (as far as I could tell that's what she said with her very heavy accent) and to come back in a month. I finally asked her in January why she wanted me to come in every month. She gave me a look and said "Okay, come back in July." ...right, I don't know what her deal was but I couldn't understand her hispanic anyways, so rather than risk my health because SHE has an issue, I decided to switch over to SLC.

Besides, I was about ready to slap the secretaries at the front desk with their God-complexes. When I told them I wanted to change doctors, they gave me this snotty little act as if I had insulted them. And when I told them that I had a problem with Foreign Doctor, the answer was "Well! We've never had any complaints before!" Maybe because normally the patients assigned to her are hispanic, too. I don't know, don't give me this crap, just give me my chart!

Anyways, new place, new start. While I'm there, I'm talked into participating in a drug study where they essentially have taken a pill that I'm already taking and made it enteric coated (so it's not broken down in the stomach but later on in the digestive tract, defeating nasty side effects). And within moments, I am meeting Ms. RN of the study.

Ms. RN is a young lass, maybe my age. A wisp of a girl like most other women in ye olde Utah (what is WITH that? Does no one female between the ages of 10 and 35 eat?) with a charming smile as she introduces herself to me, and the inner nurse within me is up and ready to see how this chick does with being an example.

Nice bedside manner? Check. Knows her crap? She read the pamphlet so check. Can actually do nursing worth a damn? Errmm...

Ms. RN is in need of my blood to be sure I qualify for the drug study. No problem. She starts with the tourniquet and...strangest thing, she uses a clip to keep it tight when any other phlebotomist just knots the thing. It's clumsy and awkward, I'd never use it myself, but if that's what she's used to, fantastic. She dons her gloves and then with a pair of scissors, cuts the tip of her right index finger to her glove OFF. The glove is now rendered useless, she is exposed to all blood products and I am horrified.

Oh, I'm not concerned about me. In fact, I nearly laugh my ass off when she rubs an alcohol pad on her finger. Oh honey, I'm really relieved for that, promise, but that glove isn't for my sake, it's for yours!

So she has the needle, pokes the Veteran Vein (the one you can see from a mile away and is about as thick-skinned as any ex-military man) and with some struggle, gets blood...both in the tube and all over the needle and she gets her finger in it. If I had any sense or nerve (people with sharp needles make me lose said nerve), I would have told her that what she just did was unacceptable. In fact, I would have spoken up as soon as I saw her cut off the finger of that glove.

But any respect I had for her was lost forever. It's the first law of nursing, to keep that protective boundary up, to protect yourself because you do not want a missing finger on your glove when you're dealing with vomit or piss or something vile like that. Blood's the same. The only reason she took the finger off was to feel my vein. But when you can SEE the damn thing, big, blue, and about as wide as your PINKY, you don't have to be all delicate about feeling where it is. The glove won't cut down on being able to feel it, it's like a freakin' inner tube! I wear gloves when doing blood sugar, even if the person pokes the finger themselves and gives their own shot. I don't know who's got some sort of blood borne disease, gotta be careful and assume everyone has hepatitis and AIDS just in case.

She also forgot the compensation check I'm supposed to get for this study. Bah. Me no likie!


  1. Anonymous12:29 PM

    How scary! I would definitely have a talk (maybe anonymous?) with Ms. RN's boss/doc in charge. That really is unacceptable. Has she not heard of AIDS???


  2. Yikes, this is NOT okay. You should report this behaviour. Didn't you say it was a clinical study? This person could seriously be jeopardizing the integrity of the study! Not to mention her health, the health of others... Scary.

  3. Unbelievable...
    BASIC,BASIC,BASIC. You did say she was a young, probably relatively new nurse? She should have been able to find that vein with her eyes closed. If she puts herself at risk with a simple blood draw, how is she putting her patients at risk in other areas??