My biggest fear - page 2

okay aside from the whole nursing shortage (that really scares me, folks!) but my biggest fear in the nursing profession is sticking myself with a needle after I have used it on a patient. I know... Read More

  1. by   babynursewannab
    My heart jumped out of my chest and I was almost screaming when I first started reading your post!

    Thank gawd you bolded the other part. Sometimes I'm in permanent info-soak mode and don't realize jokes or sarcasm until it has already smacked me upside the head and the welts are clearly visible!!!
  2. by   BrandyBSN
    Critters = lice! or any other little bugs that can jump from them to you. yucky.

    One thing I do to help avoid needle sticks is when starting an IV I only use one hand, so that nothing is in front on the needle, my hospital uses retracting needles to in order to even get the cath off in their vein the needle has to be completely retracted or it wont release. I thought they were terrible when I started using them in May as the hospitals I was used to didnt use them, so I had to learn a completely new technique, but now, I am not sure I could go back to using anything else!

    For shots, I carry the sharps container to the bedside, the needle goes directly from the pts skin to the sharps container. NEVER SET THEM ON THE BED! I got stuck in school changing sheets because a nurse left a needle in the linens. Very bad idea!~

    No matter how careful YOU are, others actions can put you at risk. It stinks, but I guess it is just one of the hazards of the profession.

  3. by   oldgirl
    Critters?? Lice, scabies, crabs, maggots--did I forget anyone? It's just one big Biology class!! Get out the microscope!
  4. by   JeannieM
    Re: Needle recapping, I speaketh from experience. I've had my palm skewered with a syringe full of Pavulon while working an emergency intubation. (Mericifully, I didn't need intubation myself.) My only "dirty" needle stick was when I was withdrawing urine from a foley for a UA through the withdrawal port and the patient shift his leg, ramming the needle into my hand (same hand that got the Pavulon). Had to have the whole HIV/Hepatitis, etc.etc. :imbar
    I have now cranked out a breed of nurselings who ALWAYS recap with one hand behind the back using the scoop method.
    Re: critters; yes I HAVE caught scabies from a patient and no, it wasn't fun!!! I am now suffering from psychosomatic itching; excuse me while I go scratch myself vigorously.
  5. by   Tookie
    know a lot more nurses who have career-ending and life-changing back/shoulder injuries than who have had diseases that they can trace back to a dirty needle stick.

    Agree with this comment Dennie

    have had my share of needle sticks (pre the now intense saftey precautions) and have had a few of the critters too But l know far more of my peers have suffered far more from manual handling injuires than anything else -

    And it still goes on even though there is now so much knowledge about how we can reduce this and prevent injuries like my age group suffered and unfortunately nurses in so many areas and ages continue to suffer - I would imagine the cost of these injuries would far out way the costs of needle stick injuries.
  6. by   MollyJ
    Just a clarification:

    Head lice cannot fly; they crawl.

    Scabies cannot fly; they crawl. However, they are very fast! and one source I read said that scabies can burrow under the skin in as little as 5 seconds! EEWWW!

    Every fall in public health you go through the head lice phase, as thousands of kids return to school bringing an inadvertent zoo with them. we would have days (and most school nurses can vouch for this with PLUS numbers) where we did back to back head checks. Public health nurses don't remove lice; we teach the intrepid mother, grandma, caregiver how to do it after they are done treating the child and the child's environment for the infestation.

    Still an afternoon of gloved head checks with handwashing between each client would have you noticing every minor skin irritation of the scalp.

    L & D nurses have the added joy of pubic lice.

    As a very experienced public health colleague of mine said: I've been exposed many times, but I've never been infected. I think exposed is too strong of a word because I make it a POINT to never share combs, hair barettes, caps or pillows with my CLIENTS!
  7. by   MollyJ
    I think if a hospital is not cooperating with needle boxes in every patient room (at least one) they are not complying with the "engineering and environmental" safeguards part of the OSHA requirements for workplace safety.

    What do you guys think about that? Any infection control nurses have any thoughts?
  8. by   mattsmom81
    I've been very frustrated when nurses (or docs)haven't passed on critical info on a patient who is infectious or cootie infested, so we can take the proper precautions to protect ourselves..

    Coworkers of mine have learned the hard way NOT to sit on the patient's bed (cooties crawl and jump), NOT to carry syringes in their pockets or recap with 2 hands, and NOT to forget to use protective equipment when there's body secretions involved...gloves at LEAST, goggles and gown if indicated.

    We nurses must do our best to protect ourselves, then try not to worry too much ...or we'll drive ourselves nuts...LOL.

    I was stuck with a dirty needle only once, similar to another story...patient moved suddenly while I was withdrawing fluid from a tube. This was before the days of ports....things are also safer now with the retractible needles...thank God!!

    I agree our risk of serious injury is an even bigger threat...due to poor staffing and rushed, stressed environment and sicker, heavier patients...

    Even then, it's the unexpected that can still get us...despite our best we use our best judgment, do the best we can and try not to worry. Renee is right...there's a risk to everything in life...
  9. by   MelH
    Thanks a lot, mattsmom, and to everyone else who posted. I never thought, and I don't know why, but I never thought about just walking down the beach and stepping on a needle. I heard about the retractible kind..does every hospital use this? AND WHY DOESN'T A DOC TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THE PATIENT??? isn't that jeopordizing your health not to mention the health of others
    who come into the room>?????? This makes me upset and I haven't even been in clinicals yet. I know there is patient/doctor confidentiality but that person is YOUR patient as well. What is wrong with this picture???
  10. by   zumalong
    Creepy crawlers were always my fav bug when I was a kid (does anyone remember the edible ones????) You forgot cockroaches and ants and mice--all seen in my quest as a nurse.

    As far as needle sticks--as long as you follow precautions and your facility is following OSHA standards you have a very slim risk of breaking skin. I think if you are extremely nervous about getting stuck or contracting an infectious disease, you are placing yourself at higher risk. When you are so nervous about sticking yourself--then you can make mistakes. (worked with a nurse who wore gloves for everything. She would carry syringe as far in front of her as her arms would stretch--one day she scratched skin with a STERILE needle. She was hysterical--had to go through PTSD counciling and all. (she is now a greeter at Wallyworld--you can tell her cuz she wears a surgical spacesuit and pretends she is the girl in the bubble).

    Seriously tho, if you do get stuck--follow policy and make sure you report it. This is for your protection. And as for creepy critters--if you cover them with chocolate---everything tastes good.
  11. by   MelH
    May I ask what OSHA is? Thanks. Mel
  12. by   deespoohbear
    One of my biggest fears is that some pt or family member will go beserk and pull out a gun and open fire. That scares me more than the potential of a needle stick. I don't recap, dispose of in the nearest sharps bucket, and I warn anyone who may even be in my way that I am coming through with a sharp. Usually clears the path pretty quick. :chuckle

    OSHA- I think the initials stand for Occupational and Safety Health Administration. They are the goverment agency that is suppose to monitor safety in American workplaces. This is the agency that is called in after a worker is injuried (or even worse, killed) in a job related accident. If you type in OSHA in a search engine, you will probably be able to find out more than you want to know.
  13. by   TEXASWAG
    I accidently stuck myself 5 months after graduating from nursing school. To top it off the patient was from an area with high incidence of AIDS.
    I was scared poop-less. Anyway, everything turned ought fine. I learned 2 lessons from this.

    1. Slow down when handling needles.

    2. Turn the frikin lights on even if the patient's room is slightly dim.