Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When Home and Work Collide

As you know, I am a RN in a Medical Intensive Care Unit. One of the best things our residents do for us is insert Central lines into patients. A central line allows fluids, blood products and medications to be infused quickly and with less irritation to the vessels. Also we can draw blood from the central line, thus saving the patients a poke. CL's also allow us to check their Central Venous Pressures (CVP) which is a number that helps us figure out how dehydrated or overloaded they are. Obviously, the drawback is that Central lines are a LOT more invasive then peripheral IVs and come with a host of potential complications. But they are pretty safe. Anyway, that is not really the point of my post.

The residents don't insert a lot of these at night wile I am working, but I have been a nurse for 7 years, so I have assisted in enough CL placements to know how it works. After the guidewire is inserted, they then thread the plastic catheter over it.

So a couple of weeks again when I lost the little straw for the capri sun juice bag I knew that a drastic procedure was in order. I decided I needed to get one of my larger straws in there, but of course the big straws don't have a pointy end. i remembered the residents, and quickly inserted a toothpick into the hole. then I threaded the big straw over it. I had some juice splatter (better then blood splatter) and I wished that I had some sharp little blade to cut the skin with to make it go in better, but all in all it turned into an uncomplicated line insertion. And for a brief moment, I wished that I had become a Doctor.

1 comment:

The Three 22nds said...

You need a bigger lance...I've used kabob skewers...guess where I got the idea...