Last night, I had my first ever needle stick injury.

  1. Sigh. First of all, I can't even believe it even happened. I've been an ER/trauma nurse at an extremely busy trauma II center for 4 years. Have practically bathed in my fair share of blood and every other bodily fluid. Assisted with bloody central lines, chest tubes, have manually drawn at least a hundred ABGs on hypoxic combative patients. Started countless IVs on thrashing agitated overdose patients. All the IM injections, and even subcutaneous heparin/lovenox/insulin injections. Cleared away dirty LP kits and dirty suture needles. No inadvertent sticks. In other words, I've always been extremely meticulous about this issue.

    Until today. I JUST started a new job as an RN at a county jail. There is an inmate who needs Levemir BID. I was on 2100 medpass and this would have been the 2nd time I've injected him. He has a flex pen, but it's his home pen and the BD needle is not a safety needle. Seeing that it wasn't a safety needle, I very very carefully recapped it (which I have always been against but I had no other option at this point.)When I went to unscrew the needle from the pen, I thought I had all the way and went to pull it off. Wrong. The cap pulled right off and in the rebound, stuck my gloved left thumb.

    He is not an IV drug abuser. He has no history of HIV/HEP C/HEP B, etc. I understand the nature of this injury is extremely low transmission, even if he was positive, but I can't help but feel like a reeeaall idiot.

    *faceplam x 100*
    Im so new I'm still on orientation. I let my nurse supervisor know who was there with me last night. She is contacting HR to get all the testing for him and I set up. I mostly just feel incredibly stupid and disappointed in myself. Looking for some support. Thanks.
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   JKL33
    Aww...I feel bad for you. I can tell it's sort of an affront to your personal pride in your work.

    Things happen...all the stars were so aligned and this happened. Please don't let it erode your self-confidence! Let your diligence be re-affirmed, take whatever steps you need to take in order to assure safe practice in your new environment and then let it go! Don't let this one event cause even more consequences due to repeated self-attacks on your confidence and your sense of being excellent at what you do. You need to actively protect against these attacks against your own are already probably feeling a little vulnerable as is normal when in a new situation.

    It's okay to move forward!

    Best wishes ~
    Last edit by JKL33 on Mar 5
  4. by   Jdgrn13
    Yes. It's totally different nursing than what I'm used to. It's much more calm and structured which is why I'm so shocked at myself over this. Blah!
  5. by   Jdgrn13
    Well it's officially 2 days later and I've had my blood work done. He doesn't go until next week to have his. I'm all of the sudden just becoming more and more nervous
  6. by   Charge200J
    Hang in there! Sending good thoughts.
  7. by   chacha82
    As other posters say hang in there and I am sending you good vibes!