A Vein Update

Oh by the way! I posted a while back about how doing the first half of my elective in the private sector was limiting my chances of accessing vasculature–phlebotomists took all the bloods, nurses put up all the drips. I stated that I was nervous, especially since I’m not too good at IVs, that I might be rusty by the time a real emergency hit in the public hospital, leaving me unable to do anything more than bleed the patient to death.

Someone, I think it was BarefootMed, suggested that I oh-so-subtly invade the nurse’s and phlebotomists space and ask them to show me how they worked and then quietly maneuver that into offering to do their work for them.

The verdict?


Not only did the nurses let me watch and help, but when I explained my anxiety when it comes to IV-lines, they came up with the great solution of putting me on Paeds-IV duty. This is how they became confident, because kiddie veins are so tiny and often not visible or palpable, leaving it up to your knowledge of anatomy and a little bit of stick-to-it psychology. (The only thing funnier than that pun was my expression when the nurse said my name in the same sentence as knowledge of anatomy. She clearly didnt know who she was talking to.)

So since then whenever a tiny person needs a drip, guess who they call?

That’s right. For the last week, I’ve been putting up all the paediatric IVs. And I can finally say I feel like a bawse doing it. My anxiety has dropped from ten to one, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I only stick patients–grown and paediatric–once.

So thank you BarefootMed I would have posted this to your blog’s comments, but my WordPress App is acting funky, and since I’m not using a computer to post this my technical literacy only extends so far. I hope you read this!

Everyone, go and check out her blog Whispers of a Barefoot Med Student. It’s one of my favorites, not just because she’s blogging from the perspective of a South African medical student and all the drama that it entails, but because she makes you think, laugh and cry.

Also, she loves books. Of the non-medical variety.

I mean, come on. What more do you want?


Filed under Elective

2 responses to “A Vein Update

  1. OMG you’re so sweet! I’m really glad it helped. My confidence grew a lot during my paeds elective last year, but I think I’ve lost a lot of that confidence again. It’s a freakin’ see-saw! Keep it up 🙂

    • Thank you so much hey! And thank you again. And again.

      I know what you mean about sea-sawing though, I became a bit of an MSE champ during psych and then flopped when we had a psychiatric patient in Casualty who was acutely psychotic. Without practice we become sluggish, but it helps to know that every time I struggle from now on will only be because I’m rusty, and not useless.

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