Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adventures in nurseland

Tonight I had a first--I got stuck with a needle...not just any needle a freshly bloodied needle. I felt like an idiot. There are all kinds of gadgets these days that are a part of needles that are designed to protect healthcare workers from such needle sticks. However, if you do not engage the are not actually safe from the shiny, menacing spear. So needless to say, I was stuck. My first thought was "don't bleed on the baby", my second thought was "oh sh@*!!!". See a needle stick in the hospital, dirty needle or not, requires at the very least a lengthy incident report. This report requires many pieces of information. Two such examples are explaining the "nature of the injury/incident" and most embarrassing--"contributing factors". How do I answer this...hmmm, #1 its night shift not always on my A game, #2 Carelessness-better not use this one or my job is at stake, #3 I've consumed two cups of coffee, four mini packs of gummi worms, three now and laters and a rockstar and a coke--therefore my hands could be shakey--also not a good one as I may seem unsafe at my job, #4 distraction. Ah thats the one. Next step as it was a dirty needle I now have to venture to the ED (emergency dept we don't call them ER's anymore). When I arrive the nurses say "eew-what's the baby got??" Thankfully I respond- "oh nothing, a blood clotting disorder and he was a premie, but overall healthy" then I think "Oh man, I don't really know the baby's family...sure they are from Nebraska and everyone knows no one in Nebraska has icky diseases *wink*, but seriously I don't know these parents. Then I start to get nervous. They hand me all of this paper work and information on the antiretroviral (anti AIDS/HIV) drugs I should probably start taking. *EEK!!* I decline the meds. I get some blood drawn by an EMT student who by the way was visibly shaking as he inserted the needle into my flesh. Now I sit here and think about the course of events. There is some info I'm given on how my risk is so little, though slightly higher then if blood had simply gotten on my skin or in my eye. I am not nervous or anything, but it makes me think. I take care of these innocent babies, but unfortunately their moms and dads aren't always so innocent. And even more unfortunately the babies sometimes suffer their parents circumstance. And bottom line---no matter how well dressed, good looking, wealthy, smart, put together a parent looks---they still could have AIDS, and I could still get it from a freakin accidental needle stick. Great. Why don't I get paid more again?!?!?