abg like what

any day in the er that is a procedural day, is a great day in my book.  today was such a day. 

it started off slowly, i saw an old guy with sob (shortness of breath).  we get him all worked out, and i head over to another room with leg pain.  this guy ends up looking like a drug seeker, although his case was somewhat more complicated – he still ended up being a jerk…will talk about him later.  sooo, i am talking to leg pain and i hear my name paged to the front.  i walk out the room and dr. d awaits me, asking if i’ve ever done an abg (arterial blood gas) – i tell him once unsuccessfully. 

a few seconds after i say this, i remember the  thing i did unsuccessfully was actually an arterial line – but i was like, oh heck, he’ll still make me do it, and the process is similar.  i head over to the pt’s room (sob), and i did it.  did what you ask?

i found his radial pulse in his arm, cleaned it with alcohol, then prepped it with betadine.  then with a syringe, i stuck him at a 45 degree angle and up goes the blood.  i hand that to the nurse and i’m done.  it sounds so easy when i write it here, and realistically, they are easy, in terms of procedures, but today was my first day doing them.

dr. d walks in and asks if i got it, and with him, being mildly confident is a bonus – so i tell him, of course i did.  he laughs tells me his usual saying – even a blind squirrel finds a nut some days.  but then i got to prove my procedural ability:  i did two more successfully.   after our dialogue, he says, alright, no get over to room 2 and do another.

i walk in this pt’s room (another sob), and stick it right away.  these feats end up compounded because, really, if you think putting in an iv is bad, try going for something deep, that isn’t just below the skin. craziness.  thank goodness this woman was in a stupor.

when it was time to repeat room 2’s abg, the family was in there.  and when it comes to family being in a room for a procedure, let me tell you – lesson learned.  i should have known it wouldn’t go well when they instantly began harassing me about the procedure.  you know, the trained professional at these with all of 2 under my belt.  but dammit they don’t know that.  (which ps, is the hilarious thing about the hospital – you could definitely be a person’s first go at something).  through it all, i got plenty of evil stares (not exaggerating) and harassing, but through it all, i got her radial artery, and left handed no less.



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