Friday, April 06, 2007

Experience makes all the difference

Still lacking a full schedule, I went back to the blood center today. Might as well use the free time to do some good. I can't do another platelet donation yet, since my right arm looks like I was in a car accident, thanks to last week's donation debacle. My left arm, however, just had slight dime-size bruising (that lovely end-of-a-bruise yellowing) left over around the spot where that needle was put in. So I figured I'd let them use my more-or-less healthy left arm and draw a unit of whole blood.

I went in, filled out the paperwork, got checked by a nurse (the usual routine--blood pressure, pulse, temperature, hemoglobin check) and then waited for a siphoning table (yeah, that's the technical name!). :)

So I get called and go hop up in the blood donation lounge chair/table. Yet again, I get a new nurse. This one wasn't even chronologically mature like last week's nurse. Instead, she looked like she's just a kid. Well, as she checks me out, she says she can't do the venipuncture when I have a bruise over the best vein to use.

I complain a bit--a polite "someone might have mentioned this when I began the process half an hour ago." (And yes, I did point it out to them, so it's not like no one knew.)

With that, she said she'd check with the nurse manager. The nurse manager is, of course, a much more experienced nurse. She asked the young nurse if she'd rather hand me off so the nurse manager could do it. The young nurse agreed, and I was relieved.

The nurse manager said she didn't want to waste my trip to them. She told me that I should have waited to heal completely (and to do so next time), but she'd go ahead and get the job done. Of course, as experienced as she is, the needle stick was quick and clean. Yes, it still hurts a little, but she hit the vein and had "the bleed" going in a few seconds.

Like anything else, it pays to have someone with lots of experience. I'm glad to have eventually found a pro after having dealt with the rookies too often. Now I just hope I'm not back to a rookie next time, although I probably will be. *sigh*


P.S.--despite Patrick's helpful comment last week, I don't plan to seek out heroin addicts to help, no matter how green the nurses get (but thanks for the tip, Patrick)! ;)

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