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Are you a looker?

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I’ve given blood several times since I turned 17, in fact, I think I actually gave blood on my 17th birthday to celebrate  being old enough to donate (call me weird, yeah, but I like giving back, ok?). But as much as I liked giving blood, I always turned my head when they stuck the needle  in. I wasn’t really grossed out by it, but at the time nursing wasn’t anywhere in my near future, nor was it even a thought in the back of my head. My mom always turned her head when she got poked, and so I did too, thinking that it probably wasn’t something I really wanted to see.

Flash forward six years and here I am in nursing school. I watch every time I get poked to give blood, for every shot I’ve had to get. Even when I blended a bit of my fingertip last Valentine’s day, I only looked away once (sorry…I was somewhat nauseous with pain, I couldn’t bear to see him wiggling around a lidocaine needle in my finger!). It intrigues me now to see what’s going on, and in the case of IVs and blood draws, I want to see other people’s technique. Was it good? Could I have done it? What were they looking for?  It’s almost exciting for me, and I don’t feel bad about enjoying it, since it was me, and no harm or pain was inflicted on anyone else.

I thought this was a normal thing for nursing students, that all of us would be intrigued by this. I guess not. There are students who can start as many IVs as they please, give as many shots, but when it comes to their turn, their head is looking the other way, their mind is racing with distractions. Some say nurses make the worst patients, maybe this is why?

You don’t have to look! By all means, it is not a prerequisite for being a nurse. I just think it’s interesting how we perceive things so differently when it’s being done to our patients as opposed to when we are the patients ourselves! Maybe it will help remind us of what it’s like when we’re in their shoes being poked… I have to remember that my patient’s probably don’t think it’s all that exciting!

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
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2 Responses to Are you a looker?

  1. I am NOT a looker. I can start IVs on other people all day long, but when I donate blood I just cannot look. I don’t mind giving blood, but watching them slide that gigantic needle into my arm just gives me the willies!

  2. Lauren Caption Contest

    I’m not a looker. Interestingly I was a looker before nursing school, but since I started putting in IVs and taking blood myself I find I can’t watch on myself. I find it hurts less now probably because I don’t unconsciously tense up while watching…

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