We recently excerpted an article about nursing mannequins, which allow nurses to practice their skills before they unleash the needles (and other indignities) on a real human. However, not everyone has access to that kind of high-tech help.
So what is that like for the nurses who have to practice drawing blood for the first time, for example? Theresa Brown, writing in the NYT’s Well blog, describes the day she learned how to draw blood, as an instructor looked on:
We don’t usually tell patients when we are practicing on them because it makes them hesitant and nervous, but they often figure it out anyway. If they ask, we don’t lie, but we try to answer in a way that puts them at ease. To the patient who asked why someone was watching everything I did, my instructor explained that I was a nurse, and that we were just “reviewing peripheral sticks.”
I wish I could say I remembered all of my patients from that day perfectly — those from whom I managed to draw blood effortlessly and those from whom I didn’t. (more…)