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Author Topic: You Never Think It Will Happen to You  (Read 85512 times)

Elizabeth Duncan, RN

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You Never Think It Will Happen to You
« on: May 30, 2007, 11:14:27 AM »

You never think it is going to happen to you. Sticking yourself with a needle. You think that, because you are always EXTREMELY careful. But, you just never know. I worked in a pediatric office years ago, looking for my niche. You learn quick and effective ways of administering immunizations to babies and toddlers. Moms are usually in a hurry to comfort the hurt that you caused them. Immunizations are not given one per visit; usually it is between two and five at a time. It is cruel to do them one at a time and many nurses will tag team and you can administer them all at the same time. Once, I released a toddler\'s legs too quickly after administering a few vaccinations. I went to put the shots into the sharps container and a needle was stuck into my hand. I couldn\'t believe it, I was a bit shocked and kinda laughed about it; then the realization hit me. I had a needlestick from a used needle. I eased my fears by thinking, Oh, but it\'s a baby. The little needlestick turned into a year???s worth of tests. Sure, it was just a baby, but what did the baby???s mom do while she was pregnant? Was the baby adopted? Over and over again this family was asked a multitude of questions, and so was I. To top it off, my boyfriend had proposed to me a week before. What do I say? What if something comes up that was never revealed? It became a huge deal. The needlestick isn\'t the traumatizing part; it???s the repercussions that follow that are traumatizing.

I did a random survey in the hospital I was working at a few months ago. It was completely anonymous. Nurses, CNA\'s, Laboratory, Radiology, Respiratory, Housekeeping, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Managers were asked to participate. I had 98 responses. Forty-one said they had had a needlestick, but 29 of those said they had never reported it. This is HUGE. If it is typical for only about 2/3 of the needlesticks to be reported in the healthcare workplace, then there are a multitude of emotionally scarred healthcare workers. Follow up is just as important as preventative care.

Retractable Technologies did a VanishPoint in-service at the above hospital. I am thankful for the VanishPoint syringes. No needlesticks = no worries. Keep up the good work!
--Elizabeth Duncan, RN