Saturday, October 8, 2016


So yesterday I had my medical procedure done at the hospital. And here is my gripe of the day.

It took on hour and a half for them to get access to my veins to administer anesthesia. An hour and a half. Now that wasn't continuous, mind you, that was over the course of four people attempting multiple sticks, lots of digging around, many failures, and finally success.

Now I have become used to this issue as I have very tiny veins and they are very difficult to access. But here's the issue I have. I always, always approach any lab work or IV with the initial warning that goes something like this: I am a very hard stick. I have one good vein right here (pointing to the exact location) but they often resort to one of these (my hand and wrist) and usually when I come in for a procedure they end up having the anesthesiologist do it." ( I do find that the phlebotomists in the labs are usually better than the nurses though....)

Now that's pretty clear right? Sometimes that works and the nurse will immediately go to the anesthesiologist for assistance. But yesterday, as has happened many other times, they decide they would rather attempt themselves. And thus begins the horror for me, the patient.

What I can't figure out is whether its an ego matter - are they sure they are "better" than everyone else? Or is it a matter of medical hierarchy - the anesthesiologists get annoyed if they are called to do it? Or are they (the nurses) afraid their reputations will be somehow damaged if they can't manage a stick themselves? I cannot figure it out. Its annoying to say the least.

I've been through it enough that I'm tired of it.When I complain people are apt to say to me "You should be more forceful! You need to make them get the anesthesiologist!" or something along those lines. But the fact of the matter is these are the people who are going to be taking care of me for the next few hours. Do I really want to be an annoyance to them? Obnoxiously making demands? No, I would prefer to smile and do my best to convince them, but take the pain in order to keep on their good sides. Bu shouldn't there be a note in my chart somewhere that I need special consideration in this area? I am really tired of it. And I don't mind saying so....

1 comment:

Wordsmith said...

An hour and a half! OH MY!! I'm another one whose veins are difficult. Mine are tiny and they roll. I ALWAYS drink tons of water the day before (I'm not good about staying hydrated enough otherwise) and that seems to help, but I ALWAYS make a point of letting Dracula know that they have the best luck with a pediatric needle. When they listen, most of the time it's a successful stick, and I don't walk out feeling like a pin cushion with huge bruises on my arm. I have learned that it pays to speak up with these suggestions, and they don't seem to mind at all. :-) I might not have been so 'sweetly suggestive' however, if it ever took an hour and a half!