tattoos and IV's

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    I see it mentioned so many times on hear about people w/tats becoming upset over IV sticks. Granted, I'd probably think the pt was a big wuss too if they were COVERED in tattoos. However, I DO have tattoos (two-one on my left calf and one on top of my right foot) yet I HATE needles! Honestly, the worst thing about labor for me was that damn IV start!

    So, for those of you who don't have tattoos. There is a big difference between getting a tattoo and being stuck with a single needle. The ink guns used for my tats had 5 or 9 needles; the 5 needle gun was used for straight lines/outlining; the 9 needle gun was used for coloring. The area numbed itself quite quickly with that many needles essentially jamming themselves into a larger area of skin repetively, whereas an IV start or blood draw is one needle being stuck into a centralized location (sometimes more than once, sometimes being wiggled around/pulled back, etc).

    Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now! Thanx for listening!
    kellyc034 and GadgetRN71 like this.
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  4. 0
    I guess maybe with a tatto the needle doesn't stay IN you like an IV...
  5. 0
    With the exception of lab draws, the needle does not stay in. It is removed, and only the catheter is left. Even with lab draws, the needle is only in for a minute or two at the most the it too is removed.
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    sorry, not to be hateful, but you'll not get my sympathy. I continue my train of thought that if you can handle a tat, then an iv is nothing.
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    i dunno, as someone with multiple tattoos/piercings who has had to have multiple IV sticks in her life.... i think the tattoos hurt worse. an IV stick stings for a second and then if you don't sit there and stare at it you don't even realize it's there. i often wondered how so many ppl with tattoos could squirm when the thought of an IV arises.... really, the needle is in your body for less than 10 seconds. it's just a little plastic catheter.

    now as someone who also has crap for veins, i can sympathize with the wiggling/fishing/digging being a little annoying.... technique has alot to do with IV starts and i personally think that pts can be traumatized by having a bad IV stick. i know i have pts sometimes who flat out get irate when i go to place an IV in their hand bc last time someone put an IV there their whole arm went numb/turned red/swelled up like a grapefruit/etc etc etc. i've had bad IV sticks too, and while uncomfortable, STILL didnt hurt as bad as the foot long tattoo on my back that took 5 hours to do.

    but thanks for sharing your perspective.. it's something i have wondered about!
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    It's not so much the tattoos, I know what that feels like, but the people with multiple body piercings who complain about IV sticks that get me - especially those with piercings in the face or private areas of the body. I'm sorry, but if you'll let some guy in a shop stick holes through THAT then you don't get to complain about my one little stick in your arm!
    athena55, Bortaz, RN, Yin Yang, and 1 other like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from nurse_mo1986
    sorry, not to be hateful, but you'll not get my sympathy. I continue my train of thought that if you can handle a tat, then an iv is nothing.
    I think it's foolish to equate a tattoo to an IV stick. They're in no way equivalent. It's like saying women who have birthed a child shouldn't complain about IV sticks... All are painful experiences, but all are different experiences.
  10. 0
    Quote from kermitlady
    I see it mentioned so many times on hear about people w/tats becoming upset over IV sticks. Granted, I'd probably think the pt was a big wuss too if they were COVERED in tattoos. However, I DO have tattoos (two-one on my left calf and one on top of my right foot) yet I HATE needles! Honestly, the worst thing about labor for me was that damn IV start!

    So, for those of you who don't have tattoos. There is a big difference between getting a tattoo and being stuck with a single needle. The ink guns used for my tats had 5 or 9 needles; the 5 needle gun was used for straight lines/outlining; the 9 needle gun was used for coloring. The area numbed itself quite quickly with that many needles essentially jamming themselves into a larger area of skin repetively, whereas an IV start or blood draw is one needle being stuck into a centralized location (sometimes more than once, sometimes being wiggled around/pulled back, etc).

    Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now! Thanx for listening!
    I agree. Plus, some of us are a hard stick for IVs. Don't have that problem when I'm being tattooed. But, I'm pretty resigned to the fact that when I get an IV, it's going to be not very fun. I have one good vein..and someday that one will fail on me..t's not unusual for them to have to have several people try to stick me. And IVs can infiltrate..had that happen too.

    Oh and OT but OP, do you find the outline the worst part, or the coloring in? For me, it's the outline.
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    Quote from flightnurse2b
    i dunno, as someone with multiple tattoos/piercings who has had to have multiple iv sticks in her life.... i think the tattoos hurt worse. an iv stick stings for a second and then if you don't sit there and stare at it you don't even realize it's there. i often wondered how so many ppl with tattoos could squirm when the thought of an iv arises.... really, the needle is in your body for less than 10 seconds. it's just a little plastic catheter.
    i concur...my tattoo was much more painful than any iv i've ever had, and i've had multiple-attempt ivs from being so dehydrated. i also think an iv was more tolerable than my piercing. however, i've never had an infiltrate, felt the burn of potassium through my line, or anything else negative once the iv was placed. if i had, i might be squeamish, too.
  12. 0
    Quote from WitchyRN
    Oh and OT but OP, do you find the outline the worst part, or the coloring in? For me, it's the outline.
    Definitely the outline! I have my boys' newborn footprints on my leg (and they had big feet! LOL) and I think the toes were the absolute worst!


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