Sunday, May 06, 2007

Being your own personal vampire...

We all know I'm a freak right?

Well... yes - I occasionally draw my own blood.

I haven't freaked everyone out too much have I? The reasons are legitimate - privacy privacy privacy... and speed. It started out of my own desire to keep my reasons for needing blood drawn to myself and not keeping my coworkers in the proverbial loop. How did I learn to do this? Well when I was going through my paramedic training I learned if needed I could start my own IV... I did it on a dare - it was a challenge so to speak- No alcohol was not a factor. I also learned it's a lot less painful for me to do it than to have someone else do it. So drawing blood is a proverbial piece of cake for me to do on my own. Sometimes it's messy, but after going through this process for 2 years well you learn how to keep the mess to a minimum.

My coworkers think this is odd behavior on my part (I prefer unique) and it's also a party gag kind of thing - once they learned of this as I had come out of the proverbial closet once I moved up to PICU. I never felt comfortable asking others to draw me while I was at work, but I had a number of reasons for drawing the blood while I was at work - it saved time. A lot of time- registration at a big hospital, waiting for your name to be called, finally someone actually drawing your blood after working 12 hours I wouldn't have gotten out of the hospital before 9:30 on a bad day - I'd be asleep at the wheel if I was doing that the number of mornings I needed blood drawn during a cycle. Just think of all the betas I've had done over the last 2 years and well you get the idea. So since I didn't want to ask a coworker to draw me - they'd want to know what they were drawing - who wants to answer the question - and the beta was to your coworkers on a monthly basis... that meant I drew myself. I also then get to pick the gauge of the needle and lets just say my choice is generally smaller than the phleb's choice. I'm not a pansy in regards to blood draws, but in all honesty I draw everyone with a butterfly needle - I've found it's nicer. So why not do that with my self rather than using the harpoons some phleb's use.

Also - it's easy for me to do. I learned as a challenge and now it's one of those things when everyone else has a hard time drawing me - I know right where to go and jack pot it's over and done with a hell of a lot quicker and with one poke rather than 2-3. I'm not into being a pin cushion. That and the phleb at the OB's office takes freaking forever. To the point that I just go over to the main hospital if and when I need anything drawn if I'm not able to draw it myself. Which was our main reason for not having the phleb draw it. She takes FOREVER - no matter how many people are there you're standing there a good 15 minutes if it's just you. I don't have that kind of patience and D sure as hell doesn't either. Especially when he knows I can draw myself. So I drew myself on Thursday and D assisted- it was his first time helping with that - though he does say - wow can you teach me how to do that now... Since I have taught people how to start IV's and draw blood - yes I could... however I really don't like being the proverbial pin cushion so likelihood is slim.

Now that's probably the most interesting part of this post - D the guy who had a hard time doing a subcutaneous injection... became the fabulous IM injector... now he wants to learn blood draws. I've created a monster. D looks at my skills as life saving - since he's watched people start IV's on me and draw my blood and then has seen me do it myself - he's of the opinion to take out the middle man - hand her the needle and let her do her own thing. Sometimes I agree- other times I'm fine with being a "teaching" case.


DD said...

Now even though the phlebo won't know the reason, the lab techs will, right?

I got your picture in the mail yesterday. Thank you. Do the puppies do a good job of keeping that shower clean?

Michell said...

Ok so I've never drawn my own blood, was a phleb for 5 years prior to becoming a nurse, but if it works for you I say who cares what others think. I totally understand about not wanting co-workers to know what you are up to and not wanting to know what labs are being done. To many questions and explanations.

Amy said...

Oohh!! I want to learn to draw MY blood! I have challenging veins, but when I say that to the phleb, most of them think "'re just being dramatic so you can get a smaller needle" and they want to try the green one anyway. I actually don't mind needles or pokes...I hate the digging! Although, I must admit, they've been pretty nice more recently (even the ones who don't know me) and they use the smaller needle at my request -- either the black tip needle or the butterfly, and they get it in one poke. But EVERY TIME they use that flippin' green needle, they miss, and they DIG and I HATE that!! (Okay, vent over, LOL).

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I think it is fantastic that you can do that to yourself. I would, too, if I could, though I just can't watch that needle while it is in there (at least on me). My sister runs a medical lab and, when I lived in the area, used to have her take my blood, which I much preferred to the random phleb.