1st Needlestick

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    I'm a new Nurse, that literally just got my license a coupe of days ago, and I just started working at a hospital a couple of weeks ago. Well i was working with a another nurse and we were attempting to start an IV on a patient. I couldn't start it and got no flash-back, so i took out the needle, when the patient started writhing in pain, from there im not really sure what happened, but i believe i nicked myself with the iv catheter needle when he started moving in pain. I felt a small poke but it was barely noticeable, it was only when i took my gloves of and looked at my did i really see anything. At first it didn't look like i drew blood, but i squeezed my finger and blood came out. I went to the bathroom and squeezed the heck out of my finger and scrubbed my hands. But heres my mistake, i didn't say anything at the time, i was so scared and felt so stupid, so i continued on. I got off and went home at the end of my shift and i just couldn't take it. I called my unit today and talked to the charge nurse about it, and they were pretty reassuring and said i just need to come back in when i was next scheduled to work and fill out an incident form, and that they would test the patient for hiv, hbv, hcv. As far as i know the patient had to history of hiv, hbv, or hcv. My charge nurse told me not to be worried and that it happens to everyone, but i'm freaking out. I just don't know what to do until i go back in to work in 2 days. How could i be so stupid?
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    I'm not going to beat you up about not speaking up when it happened. What's done is done. However, waiting until you're scheduled to work again to put in the incident report and get eval/treatment doesn't make sense to me, regardless of what the charge said.

    Get in your car, drive to work, and address the issue now with your NM and/or charge on duty.
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    Emphasis on the NOW and not two days.
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    Ok so i went up there, and they said since i'm past the 24 hr mark and occupational health is closed after 5, and they aren't open on the weekend, the patient blood was drawn and is being tested and they said they would draw my blood monday for baseline. I just don't get it though, they are acting as if it's no big deal. The doctor for the patient said he's not positive for anything, but i'm just like really? i'm freaking out over here. They keep telling me i'm fine.
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    It really doesn't matter what anyone says, you will be "freaked out" for a little while. You really never want to have a needle stick but it does happen. Just follow the policy and procedure for testing and try really hard to never let it happen again. Accidents do happen, just try to protect yourself. The doctor knows his patient, so I would try to not think about it until the results come back. I'm 61 years old and I've been working in the medical field since I was 16. We were exposed to things years ago that you just would not do now. I "freak out" now if I think about all that. But just try to relax and if there is something else to deal with as far as the exposure, you will deal with it and do what is necessary.
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    @nurselabrat.Thank you for ur kind words. The right people are aware of the situation and things will be handled. Unfortunately I had to learn this lesson the hard way. No more delays if something like this happens again.
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    I am sorry this happened to you, it is completely normal to be freaked out. It's scary with all the what-if's. Chances are, statistically wise I mean, you will be fine. I would suggest that as soon as you can (whether on duty or not) you speak to the OHS people and follow their protocol.
    Also, even if the patient "says" they don't have something, that doesn't mean there is an undiagnosed something. At our hospital we ask the patient if they are willing to let us draw blood to test if they are positive for anything. They have the right to say no, but more often than not they are happy for that to occur.
    You did the perfect right thing by squeezing your finger and scrubbing the area. Now you've learnt to do it straight away and inform people straight away.
    I am sure you will be okay. I am thinking of you.
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    Hi Sejl90 - I work with Safe in Common (Safe in Common | Injecting Safety into the World) on a broad effort to reduce needlesticks, and as you know first-hand, are all too common. When you're able, can you drop me a message at jmcgurk@kcsa.com - I would enjoy discussing how sharing with our members what you experienced can help prevent this.
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    you probably are fine but I do understand your concern. I was stuck once, and the infection control nurse told me not to worry because the patient was in the low risk group. But what she did not know is that the patient was a retired phlebotomist who worked prior to all the safety regulations we have now, and during the HIV scare in the 80's. It has been more than 12 years so I think I am ok, but I do understand your concern. You might talk to your Infection Control nurse to find out an alternative to waiting on w/ends, etc. Perhaps the ER could have drawn your blood? Your facility may need to have a policy revision. NEVER wait to tell or get treatment.
    Last edit by classicdame on Jul 16, '12 : Reason: spelling error
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    So i found out today that the patient was hep C positive. I got my baseline blood test done today, and I go back for follow up 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months from now. I numb, i really don't know what to do.


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