Your first IM injection

  1. If you're like me, you'll never forget the first time you gave an injection to a patient. I'll never forget the patient either. I gave the shot in the GM. My nursing instructor right behind me. I went in fast, pushed the med in slow, and my instructor screamed at me for putting the needle in too fast before I could complete the procedure. It is a wonder that I didn't break the needle off in the man because I jumped a mile in the air when she screamed.
    God!
    The sweet patient told her it was the best shot he'd ever received and that the faster the better. Poor patient felt sorry for me and tried to give me a dollar for taking such good care of him that day. I'll never forget him. If not for him, I would have probably kicked that instructor's buttocks. That instructor hated new students. The feeling was mutual. I didn't care too much for her either. Later on, I found out that she had miscarried and stressing about other family problems.
    Well, I can give great shots so she is probably one of the reasons. I take a lot of pride in my nursing procedures, especially injections. When I taught school, I took a lot of time with my students during that lesson plan. They gave themselves injections after practicing on an orange. Then they gave each other injections. If they didn't know anything else, they could all give an almost painless injection when they left my classroom.
    And they go into the muscle fast. No complaints so far.
    I'd rather take my shots fast.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   brassdragon
    Don't remember my 1st IM in nursing school, I passed out.
  4. by   Tiiki
    My first IM was on an orthopaedic patient who had a knee replacement. The first hurdle to overcome was how to turn over this patient who didn't want to turn. I was also terrified of "breaking" something! My clinical instructor came in, watched me prepare the syringe..and then, I just started shaking. Never mind hitting my mark, I was lucky to hold onto the syring! I guess I was taking too long trying to focus, because the next thing that happened was my instructor hitting my hand, the syringe going into the patient, and both the patient and I screamed from surprise. Luckily it was a clean hit and the patient had a sense of humour. It took me the rest of the day to stop shaking and I vowed to NEVER do another injection! Well the next day I was assigned ALL of the IM's for the class. By lunch time I felt I was a pro! LOL

    Jo
  5. by   fedupnurse
    Mine was a good one! Thank God I had a great instructor. Picture a shriveled up 4 fott nothing contracted patient who made supermodels look obese. Got the picture? I had to give Gentamycin IM to this poor teeny tiny woman. The only place that had enough meat was her arm. Even my instructor said they should have picked better patients. A couple of my classmates had similar first experiences. Don't give many IM or SC anymore. Most of my stuff is IV and too many of my patients are on thinners so they can't get the IM stuff. I hate sticking people. Now in place of IM's I get to torture people with blood gas stick. Boy do those hurt!!!!!
  6. by   ComicRN
    Boobaby, when I read your post it was like deja vu all over again!!!

    I had to give my first IM on a patient who I wasn't even taking care of in clincal that day. So, I didn't even know the poor lady......and of course, she didn't know me either. My instructor introduced us and asked her if I could give her her injection. The very brave woman said yes! Of course, it took me about 3 hours to draw it up, being very careful to use sterile technique, getting all the bubbles out, checking to make sure it was the right med, right patient, right dose, etc (about 16 times!!).

    Finally, we walked into the patient's room together. Me, holding the syringe like it was a nuclear bomb, and my instructor looking like the big know-it-all that she was!! The patient graciously rolled over onto her side and bared her buttocks. Oh my gawd, then I had to remember where the d*mn needle was supposed to go!! I got out my triple AAA road map and figured it out, made a mental note and uncapped the syringe, all the while holding my breath. I think I said something like, "all righty here we go, 1-2-3" and I put the needle in. Then, while my hands were shaking like I had had too much to drink, I injected the med (can't even remember what it was!). The minute I was finished, my instructor practically pulled me by the arm out into the hall and said, "THAT WAS THE WORST INJECTION I HAVE EVER SEEN. YOU PROBABLY CAUSED THAT WOMAN INCREDIBLE PAIN." Well, it's a wonder that I'm not working behind the counter at McDonalds to this very day. I was devastated. I was a mess for the rest of the day in clinical.

    But, before I went home that day, there was one thing I HAD to do. I went into the patient's room and apologized. And she said to me, "Honey, I don't know what you're so worried about. I didn't feel a thing!" :roll

    Just goes to show ya.......nursing instructors don't know EVERYTHING!!
  7. by   ageless
    the only real clear memory I have from clinicals was this huge instructer (wore a size 9 sterile glove) who insisted on showing me how to properly crush a pill. Four hands on one pill crusher does not work and I got my finger smashed. Talk about a control freak..the next pill, I said with my finger still throbbing, "either you do it, or I will..but we won't be holding hands during this one!" She got so mad her face turned red and she stormed off down the hallway..didn't see her the rest of my shift.
  8. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Weird. Like brassdragon, I don't rememebr my first IM injection. Must have been so bad I've blocked out the memory!

    These stories are hilarious you guys! Some of you should be writing these down for a book of nurses short stories!

    Heather
  9. by   RN-PA
    How did we ever make it through nursing school with these instructors? Sheesh... Funny stories all, though-- Glad that we lived to tell them!

    They started our nursing program out with "well patients" so we began our first clinical rotations in Maternity. The first IM injection I ever gave was in my post-partum rotation with a C-section patient. The instructor placed her fingers in a vee position over the woman's buttock to show me where to aim the demerol. The main thing I remember after injecting it was reeling backwards in glee and excitement that I'd given my first shot, grinning like an idiot, and sort of waving the syringe around in my near-delirious state. The instructor hissed at me and jerked her head toward the sharps container to where I half-danced/half-floated over to the wall to deposit the syringe.
  10. by   boobaby42
    So true. I still think about my first shot every time I give an injection!
  11. by   cbs3143
    My first IMs were in the Army. The instructors were really laid back and it was no big deal. There was a considerable difference in the level of concern for the patients, as they were all healthy personnel receiving immunizations. I had given hundreds if injections, including the air guns, before nursing school.

    One of my classmates had a disastrous first experience though. She was giving dorsal gluteal injection and had her left hand on the patient's buttock to tense the skin. The instructor apparently yelled at her because she was hesitating, and she thrust the needle through the webbing between her thumb and index finger and into the patient. She felt so bad because not only did she expose the patient to her blood, she had a blood exposure from the patient while withdrawing the needle. That was before the HIV days, but they still had to be tested for Hepatitis B. Everyone felt really sorry for her. I don't recall whether she finished school or not. We lost over half of our class by the time we finished.

    Chuck
  12. by   cbs3143
    How about the first time that you hit a bone on a really thin patient?

    Chuck
  13. by   boobaby42
    I remember placing a needle/syringe down on the table as I was getting an infant ready for the shot. While I was preparing the site, the baby's big brother got the needle and started chasing another brother around the room with it.
  14. by   ChristenLPN
    I lucked out in a big way. Immediately after Graduation I started working as a float in a big practice of internists/FPs. A truly ancient nurse- she must have been at least in her 80's- told me, "I am going to teach you how to give injections." And I, the ever so knowledgeable recent graduate, assured her that I learned how in school. She said she knew that, but she was going to make sure I knew how to give injections better than my instructors could!

    To this day, I have patients tell me they felt nothing at all during their injections, and that they had worried for nothing!

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