Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If You're a Bit Squeamish, You Might Want to Move On

With a sigh of resignation, I informed Hubba-hubba that I was due for one of the now-routine blood tests for my hypothyroidism that stubbornly refuses to be treated. I cannot blame the doctor, because it is not the doctor's fault that my thyroid is not functioning properly. But dammit, I am tired of just trying to creep up from behind it, I want him to just pump me up and then adjust my levels back down.

Anyhoo, I had to go to the hospital rather than the clinic because the phlebotomists are stationed there 24/7 and I like to go by myself after Mr. Personality is asleep.

I should have sensed the trouble when the man called my name and did not even glance at me as I opened the door. I stood there as he stared off into space. Finally I broke the silence and said, "You called me!" and refrained from adding an unflattering adjective. After all, I make it a point to not antagonize people with needles.

So he walks around to the little blood-drawing stations, still not even looking at me, and fails to inform me where I am to sit. I am standing there, waiting to be told what to do, which he never does. He just begins putting the stickers on the tube, so I assume he wants me to sit at that station, and proceed to do so.

I lay my left arm on the slanted armrest, and he begins feeling around for a vein. Now listen, I have had so many blood draws in the past year that I can practically point to the vein which everyone uses. He is feeling around rather a lot, more so than any other phlebotomist I have ever had. I think, oh great, this guy has no clue what he is doing. He then actually deigns to speak to me and gruffly asks where a good vein is. Biting back the retort of "I thought that was your job to figure out," I indeed was able to point to the most popular vein. He feels around again as if he does not believe me, and after a good three minutes applies the alcohol to the spot.

I know, I know, I should have run out right then and there.

But, I let him plunge the needle into my poor arm, and we both look down at the tube, which if the needle has been inserted correctly, begins to flow with blood instantaneously.

The tube is empty. I look at the tube and look at him. He looks at the tube and looks at me. All I can think of are unflattering adjectives.

He pulls the needle up about 3/10 of an inch and the blood starts to finally go where it is supposed to go. Now 3/10 of an inch might not sound like a whole lot, but the arm ain't that big to begin with, and even that seemingly tiny amount further in can damage things. He pulled the needle out and wordlessly put the cotton balls on my arm, two as opposed to the usual one because he knew I would be needing all the help I oould get. He didn't inform me of the usual instructions to put pressure or anything because he apparently either has some sort of problem communicating with people or he is just an ass. My vote is for ass.

Ass managed to poke through my vein. Luckily, having gone through this drill many times before, I made sure to go to the waiting room and apply pressure on the site for a full five minutes as opposed to the normal three, because I knew he messed up my arm and I want to try to mitigate the damage as much as possible.

My arm is painful without me even moving it, and blood is already pooling under the very red site.

I certainly do not like jerks. And if you are going to be a jerk to the poor patients who have to come to you, you had at least better be a competent jerk.

3 comments:

Atasha said...

What an idiot! yes an ass is the better word. I had one of those unknowing fools poke me when I went for a CT Scan. After I told him where the good vein was he neglected to take my advice. He poked and poked so much, well next thing you know I woke up on a hospital bed. jackass.

I'm having issues again and once more Norton won't allow me to open the Javascript. So frustrating! *sigh*

Anvilcloud said...

You're right, a jerk should at least be competent. If you can't have that, then at least let him be an incompetent nice guy. :)

boogiemum said...

ahhh, been there. Isn't drawing blood like one of the first things these people learn? It amazes me how many seem completely imcompetent when it comes to needles. Lets hope you never have to rely on them for something more serious...