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Needlestick Injuries Scaring Me Away From Nursing, HELP! :(

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by xoshelbugxo xoshelbugxo (New) New

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You are reading page 2 of Needlestick Injuries Scaring Me Away From Nursing, HELP! :(. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Merced specializes in Gerontology/Home Health CM, OB, ICU, MS.

104 Posts; 5,833 Profile Views

It is sure true that in nursing, we experience pretty much the gamut: good with bad, dangerous with joyous & soul-enriching... Most of this is a part of the help we offer people daily.

so, yes nursing will stretch & challenge you. Safety is found behind a desk, not taking care of the sick.

I'll bet that every single nurse has experienced fears; I can see it in my students' faces too, when we talk about MRSA, AIDS, etc. I can just hear them thinking, "Why am I taking all these risks when I am going to make a wage that is barely a living wage?" (I teach Nurse Assistants).

But, if you know you get joy from helping people in a knowledgeable way (ie nursing) you do it, & keep your fingers crossed. Some nurses, naturally, are more courageous than others. You will learn a lot about yourself and your limits. Listen to your heart. When I look back on my "negative" experiences, they have enriched me & taught me more than all the joyful times.

Ya gotta take the bad with the good.

I have had 3 "exposures" & have been fortunate enough to come out fine.

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brandy1017 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

2,299 Posts; 37,986 Profile Views

It's true there are risks in nursing, even if you do everything right freak things can happen. But at least the federal govt during Clinton mandated that hospitals provide safe needles which lowers the risk. That was a long time coming. But that said freak things can happen like a eye splash when you least expect.

Aside from the obvious Hep C & HIV, we are exposed to the resistant germs, but you never know with so called SARS and the swine flu, it remains a risk. But when you think about people's sexual history and how many people many will be with and how often do you worry about that if you're with a new person. You are probably more likely to contract HIV or Hep from a sexual partner and even SARS etc you could get in the community.

There's been an increase in HIV in older patients now thanks to the sexual revolution and viagra. I always used to think taking care of older patients HIV was not a problem, but that is no longer the case anymore.

You just have to do your best to avoid a needlestick or splash and put your faith in God and ask Him and ask your Guardian Angel to protect you (and your patients) from all harm!

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4 Posts; 705 Profile Views

I'm a nursing student that also works pt as a bartender. After a shift at the bar one of the bouncers handed me a purse that was found near the pool tables. Something in the purse pricked me. I opened the bag to find a bunch of used needles with blood in them and no caps. I immediately went to the hospital. I ended up having to take HIV medication as a precaution for 1 month ( which my employer at the bar paid for ). The nurses and doctor told me the likelihood of contracting anything was pretty rare but they did take the precautions of giving me the meds. The experience didn't turn me off of nursing. I know it's what I'm meant to do :)

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LouisVRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg.

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I've been a nurse 3 years and have yet to have a needlestick injury. Most people I know who have had exposures will admit that they let their guard down, they were busy, they were distracted, the patient was combative but they didn't ask for help, etc. Just make sure you use the resources available to prevent needlestick injuries, needless ports/safety syringes when you can and ask for help when you need it. Like the other poster's have mentioned you can let fear control all that you do or you can understand that you are taking risks everyday.

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LaughingRN specializes in ER.

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I hope that my update didn't prompt this thread.

Speaking from personal experience...don't let it stop you from being a nurse

I love my job more than any other job I have ever had, despite my needle stick.

Almost all needle sticks are preventable, including mine.

Live and learn.

Believe it or not, most nurses never get stuck. If they do have a needle stick, the patient is "clean". If they do get stuck "dirty", the statistics are overwhelmingly on the nurses side of never contracting a thing.

As a veteran of the needle stick, (dirtier than dirt)

you seriously have more to worry about by simply walking out your front door in the morning.

Don't let my thread worry you, cause like almost every nurse on this site, you'll never have an opportunity present itself in your career to walk in my shoes :)

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317 Posts; 6,482 Profile Views

It's a risk you take in healthcare. I have never stuck myself but did have a pt pull out his IV insertion needle before the needle was retracted, and then throw it at me. It stuck me in the thigh and eventhough everyone kept telling me how little a chance I had of actually contracting something...bam! I contracted Hepatitis C from the A-hole. It's scary and oftentimes there is still risk no matter how hard you try to minimize it. It's just a reality of being a nurse and one that you must be comfortable accepting if you want to go into this field.

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3 Posts; 575 Profile Views

Thank you so much for the replies, everyone.

LaughingRn, your post didn't cause mine, but I did read yours and want you to know that you're in my prayers. I'm so sorry for what happened to you, and I hope you keep us updated.

From the experience you guys have, do PA's come in less contact with needles than NP/RN's do?

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MrChicagoRN has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care.

2,589 Posts; 28,630 Profile Views

I've been a nurse >25 years. I've had several needle sticks but all occurred many years ago, long before needless systems; when you could either carry an exposed syringe out to the med cart & clip the tip off before placing it in the sharps container on the cart, or you could recap it yourself and hope you didn't stick yourself. And still, I contracted nothing.

The equipment is much safer now.

We're all probably at greater risk travelling to & from work than from a needle stick injury.

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317 Posts; 6,482 Profile Views

Thank you so much for the replies, everyone.

From the experience you guys have, do PA's come in less contact with needles than NP/RN's do?

No...many PAs are first assists in surgery and so the risk of personal injury is higher in that case. They also do suturing, suture removals, etc. I guess it would depend on what specialty you entered into, though.

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3 Posts; 575 Profile Views

Whether I go into nursing or become a PA, I want to get into pediatric oncology..seems like a lower risk than some specialties. Then again, this is just my uneducated opinion.

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psu_213 has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

3,869 Posts; 28,053 Profile Views

I was donating blood the other day and asked the nurses on the bus how they felt about it, and one replied that "every day feels like a possible death sentence."

I just have to say that this is one of the stupidest, ridiculous, most discusting things I have ever heard.

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cherrybreeze is a ADN, RN and specializes in Med/Surg.

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"Every day feels like a death sentence"? Wow. Melodramatic, much?

I was going to say the same thing...I read that sentence and thought, "give me a BREAK." WAY over-dramatic and unnecessary.

I stuck myself with a needle once in 10 years, and I did while drawing up a med, so the needle was clean. The only time in my life I've ever had to undergo the six months of HIV/Hep testing was after surgery....it was a scope, and once the doc got into my joint, he noticed some odd-looking dark brown flecks. They were sent to pathology and found to be broken down blood cells, which came off of the instrument. The instrument had been sterilized, but how it wasn't totally clean I have no idea. I turned out to be fine, just grossed out. This wasn't from working as a nurse, it was from being a patient. In other words, anything in life is risky. The greater the risk, the greater the reward, except in the case of needlesticks, it's a very small risk where the rewards from being a nurse are huge.

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