Sunday, May 8, 2011

She just wanted her mom...

To start my theme of inteteresting experiences I'll relate one small experience from the last 6 months as an illustration. I work as a phlebotomist at large a hospital here in Lincoln, Nebraska. Because of its colocation with the the alcohol independence center and psychiatric units as well as its geographic location, the emergency department at this hospital recieves a very unique slice of Lincoln's population. This uniqueness is often more evident on the weekends and after 6 pm in the evening.

This particular evening I was working in the emergency department and I saw orders to draw a patient in room 26. As I walked by the desk on my way to the room one of the nurses called after me, "Wait! let me come help you." Of course I was thinking to myself, "I'm Phil Stokes, I've been doing this for so long, I don't need any help thank you." I conveyed this to the nurse in a more polite fashion and continued on my way to the patients room. In the room I found a very calm looking woman in her mid forties who we'll call Lucy. The only thing that caught my eye about Lucy was the fact that she was in restraints, strapped to her bed.

I often draw blood from patients who are in restraints so I didn't think anything of it. As I walked in I gave my usual greeting, "Hi my name is Phil, I'm from the lab, I need to draw a little bit of blood from you" I even added an extra "Is that ok with you?" I thought I'd cleared the major hurdles to a successful blood draw but as soon as I tied my tourniquet and began to look for a vein Lucy began to scream "MOM...MOOOMMMM!" and started squirming and fighting at her restraints. This led to some consternation on my part and many people including the police to run into the room. After me, two techs, two nurses and a police officer had sufficiently secured Lucy, I proceeded to draw my blood but not without continued ear-piercing appeals from Lucy for her mother.

Just another night in the emergency department.