I hope everyone’s week is going good….it’s almost Friday! I received another “ask me a question” and this question comes from Tracey and here is what she asked:
“Hi I am just beginning to register for my prerequisites and take the assessment exams so that I can get on the waiting list for a nursing program to become a Registered Nurse RN. I know that nursing is not my “calling” but it is a good career and I think (and hope!) that I would do well at it. Needles do not bother me (giving or receiving shots). A friend of mine is diabetic and I give him shots all of the time. However, I have this little fear of accidentally poking myself (not with his needle) but with a patient’s needle in the hospital. Or that thing that you have to do when you have to draw blood & quickly remove the needle and put pressure on the arm kind of freaks me out (in regards to poking myself). Is this a realistic fear? And how concerned about this should I be? Does this happen a lot? Thank you in advance!”
Is Giving Shots or Needles Sticks Hard as an RN or Nursing Student?
Tracey, this is a good question because it is something every nurse/nursing student should be aware of. It is good that you are thinking about the “what ifs” because it is always good to be on your toes, especially concerning a topic like this. First of all, needle sticks do happen to some nurses/doctors/nursing assisants but the chances of it happening to you depends on how careful you are with giving injections or drawing blood. Companies have now made syringes with a thing called “safety’s” which allows you to press a button to retract the needle immediately after you give the injection or draw blood to prevent getting stuck by the needle. And from personal experience with using these devices they are wonderful!!
In nursing school, you will learn the proper techniques of how to give injections, which if you follow the steps thoroughly each time you draw blood or give injections you should have no problem. Plus many hospitals are going to needle-less devices to prevent needle sticks. In the hospital setting, you do not give a lot of shots per se like nurses had to in the past. When you start your clinicals you will notice you mostly will be giving insulin (subq which is how you give them to your friend) or Lovenox (which is a blood thinner to prevent clots) subq. Thoseare really the only “shots” I have given in the hosptial settings (clinic setting are a little different you will find you give a lot of intramuscular injections such as the flu shot…etc). Drugs for pain, nausea…etc are mostly given through the IV access which is given by IV push and this is needle-less. The syringe you use to inject the medication into the IV access line has a plastic tip that you insert into the access port.
A Nurse’s Story about Being Stuck with a Needle
As a nursing student, I have never had a needle stick. However, if you do by chance get a needle stick it doesn’t necessary mean you are going to die or get AIDS because some patients are free from blood contagious diseases and if you were to get a needle stick from them you would be okay. However, if you do have a patient that has a contagious diesase that can be transmitted through blood you should receive information in report from the nurses or in the patient’s health history to be aware that the patient has AIDS, Hepatitis B/C…etc so you will be extra careful when giving injections or drawing blood.
Let me give you this example that I encountered a couple of weeks ago in clinicals. I had a patient who had Hepatitis C which can be transmitted through blood and I received this information from the patient’s health history and in morning report. So when I had to give the patient’s insulin I was super careful and followed all the steps I learned in nursing school to prevent a needle stick and plus the syringe had a safety which retracted the needle after I would done.
So overall, yes you should be worried about needle sticks but I wouldn’t let it scare you out of becoming a nurse. If you follow what you have been taught in school and are very conscious of what you are doing you should be fine! Remember not every needle stick will lead to some deadly disease. Tracey, great question! I wish you much luck in nursing school. I think you will like it! If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to hit me up!
Until next time,