1. I'm a male LPN student who's getting ready to start clinicals on Jan 2nd (just finished "boot camp"). We haven't had a ton of hands-on experience with injections & I feel really awkward when pulling up a med. I sometimes get air bubbles (especially when doing it in front of instructors).

    Maybe my shaky hands (from nervousness) is one of the reasons because I don't have as many problems when I'm practicing at home. Any tips on not getting air, & is it common to feel extremely clumsy when starting out?

    Last edit by coyle on Dec 21, '06
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    About coyle

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 7


  3. by   Daytonite
    Make sure the tip and bevel of the needle are submerged in the liquid solution. Pull the plunger back slowly and steadily. You will get bubbles in the syringe if you pull the plunger back too quickly or the tip of the needle is not in the liquid and you pull air in. If you do end up with air in the syringe, invert the syringe with the point of the needle pointing at the ceiling. Hold the end of the barrel of the syringe that is closest to the floor very snugly, so it doesn't move, with the thumb and first and second fingers of your non-dominant hand. With your thumb and third finger of your dominant hand, snap the end of your middle (third) finger smartly against the barrel of the syringe a couple of times to "encourage" the air bubbles to rise upward to the area of the hub. Now slowly push the plunger up while the syringe is still pointed upward to expel the excess air.
  4. by   manofcare
    I'm a second semester ADN student and we gave a lot of injections this semester. The air bubbles can be released by striking the barrel of the syringe with a ball point pen. Your instructor may or may not endorse this practice, but it works and makes the air release while still in the vial. My ins. showed me the tech. As for nerves, I can really relate. The more you do something, the better you get at it and the less nervous you are about performing the procedure in front of an ins. We had an ins. that was so intimidating I though I would have to wear a brief in front of her to keep from soiling my scrubs. No joke. Really intimidating. I found that the more prepared I was, the easier the procedure becomes. Also, have you ever heard of pilot talk? Have you ever noticed that pilots in the middle of really bad situations remain calm in the way they talk on the radio? Try talking during the procedure. It really works for me. Not only does it keep me calm, but if the ins. is writting during part of the procedure, he/she hears your explanation of the step, etc. One last thing that I learned from last semester, the instructors really want you to succeed. You may question this, but you will realize this at some point. I did. The really intimidating instructor will be the one that I will always remember. Bring on a really pissed Doctor, after Mrs. X, I feel that I can handle any Doctor now.
  5. by   coyle
    Much appreciate the replies. :thumbsup:
  6. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Two pieces of advice from my clinical instuctor:

    1. Definitely use a pen to tap the syringe to get out the bubbles, your fingers won't hurt at the end of the day.
    2. Draw up more med then you need, then knock out the bubbles while it is still in the vial, then push the plunger to the desired amt....

    And as for being nervous....thats all a part of school! I've done TONS of IM & SC injections, and am pretty comfortable with the process.....however, just the thought of an instructor hovering over my shoulder makes my hands shake (I can thank a bad clinical instructor for that one!). Once you've done it a few times in clinical, and your instructor sees that you know how to do it properly, you'll probably be allowed to do them on your own. I found it far less stressful doing it on my own, rather than under the watchful hawk-eyes of a crazy instructor.
  7. by   coyle
    appreciate your input, S.T.A.C.E.Y
  8. by   WDWpixieRN
    Also, I believe the air is sometimes a result of less-quality syringes -- perhaps someone else can verify this -- but we did a flu clinic this semester and had a horrible time with air bubbles....someone went and got some different syringes and they were like a dream compared to the first set we worked with....I like the pen fingers felt like they were going to burst open sometimes from "tapping" a syringe!!