Before my Complications for IV therapy story begins I want to thank nursing staff everywhere for your kindness and compassion and Nurse Becca for her faith in my ability to bring this issue to you via her blog as it is truly a unique issue that many may not have ever even had to happen to them. IV Needle or Cannula Breakage.
The Big Sneeze is a funny title, but it is where the scare of my life began at age 23.
As a nurse, you know that patient issues like those complications for IV therapy that occur from time to time can be scary for those of us on the receiving end. In my case, I was being seen by a well experienced and bubbly spirited nurse in the ER of the Hospital in Blythe California.
At the time I was working construction during a flu epidemic and between a mild case of flu, my job in the summer heat, and an anxiety attack I landed in the Emergency Room in need of IV fluids among other medications. I Never expected complications for IV therapy.
Sadly, I cannot remember my Nurse’s name to thank her directly, but she turned an awfully bad situation into a less scary and quite interesting experience. See during the placement of the IV a sudden sneeze came over her and the darned needle putting the IV in broke off in my arm.
A Sudden Look of Shock Was Quickly Replaced by A Calm Professional Demeanor.
My nurse admitted afterward these complications for IV therapy had never happened to her, but she quickly put her thumb on the vein, reattached the tourniquet, and got the doctor to come in quickly. All while telling me I had a car in the expressway in need of directions. She then explained that the needle had broken off in the vein and they were about to remove it to make sure it did not travel to any place that could cause harm.
What sounded like a bit of light attitude for an urgent situation, built trust in her as a professional because at first, she put me at ease about the complications for IV therapy I was experiencing. The nurse then explained the situation in clear language that was easy to understand.
I was so thankful for that as I have always been the type to come into a bad situation with a list of bad jokes and nurses and doctors alike have had mixed reactions. Especially when I needed hospital care some of the people, I have encountered were zombie-like in the performance of their duties.
Complications for IV Therapy Like This are Seldom but How You Handle This Can Make a Huge Difference.
A few years later I had another anxiety attack and was in the hospital again with every symptom of a heart attack. Even the firefighters said the EKG test looked like a possible inner wall heart attack and sent me code 3 to the Hospital in Parker Arizona 45 miles away.
The paramedics were of great attitude but every member of the Parker staff caused total alarm and escalation of my state because not only were they of poor humor they would not tell me anything about what they were doing, why they were rushing around, or why I needed so many tubes and hoses, wires and such. That is a scary situation for a 24-25-year-old who thinks he is having a heart attack.
Even when it was all over the Doctor was not very friendly and the nurse barely spoke to me as all that stuff was removed and I was sent home with a new medication for acute anxiety. During my stay, they missed the vein on my hand putting in the IV and my hand ballooned up. This is more common in complications for IV therapy.
The only excuse I was given was this sometimes happens. Well why does it happen, and will I be OK were the questions my young mind was afraid to ask. I was not impressed, not happy, very scared, and even angry over my care at points. The relationship with staff was symptomatic of a systematic failure to give patient care beyond treatment.
The Big Failure, in My Opinion, was a Disconnect from the Patient as an Individual Some Nurses and Doctors Do Not Have.
I mean some of you handle us patients with extreme care, total professionalism, a light dose of humor, and explain things so we have little fear of what is coming. Others act like we are a number and getting us out of there is more fuel for the money machine.
They are paid by the hour or job regardless of how you think your experience went and do not really care about you. Before you get in that ER or Patient’s room if you think about the things a patient may be going through, put a smile on, maybe brush up on a joke or so and remember we are mom’s dad’s children and people we can all be happier in our roles in a bad situation.
I know the pain of losing a party in your care. If you get attached this can be a big burden. I was a volunteer firefighter and later cared for my dad until the end of his life. It is not a cool part of the job but even a good smile and attitude can make things like complications for IV Therapy less scary and more of a community-building event. You are a representative of patient care no matter your job and reputation matters.
Again, thank you to the nurses that have shown robots are far and few between in your field. Customer care is on your mind, and there are humans on both sides of the situation.