Not A Local Mistake

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 24, 2019

(I am a nurse practitioner, assisting my coworker inserting a vascular catheter for dialysis use. The patient is very restless.)

Coworker: “Please stay as still as you can; we don’t want to puncture the wrong blood vessel.”

Patient: “Okay, okay, sorry. It’s just that it really hurts.”

(My coworker continues with the catheterisation, but the patient still keeps wriggling.)

Coworker: “On a scale of one to ten, what is the pain level? I have given you lots of local anaesthetic already.”

Patient: “Nine to ten!”

Coworker: “Okay, let’s give you a little bit more local.”

(My coworker turns to me.)

Coworker: “Okay, let’s give him some more [anaesthetic].”

(I then point to the tray containing all the items required for the procedure, specifically the syringe containing the local anaesthetic — the FULL syringe that hasn’t been used.)

Coworker: *eyes bulge* “Oh, s***!”

(She turns back to the patient.)

Coworker: “Okay, we’re giving you some more local now. How is that?”

Patient: “Oh, much better!”

(The rest of the procedure went by without a hitch. To clear it up, my coworker has been working in the dialysis ward for almost twenty years and this was her first minor mistake at the end of a very long cover shift, but she d*** well hasn’t made that mistake again!)

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