There Will Not Be Blood

, , | Healthy | May 2, 2018

(Due to having a serious illness as a kid, I’ve had countless numbers of blood tests. When I am old enough to donate blood, I do so willingly, but knowing that my veins are now difficult to find, I always request an experienced technician. This is on all my paperwork, for their benefit as well as mine. This is my fourth or fifth donation, so I know the drill fairly well. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.)

Head Technician: “So, I understand that you’ve got difficult veins! That’s not a problem, but I was wondering if you would mind if we get one of our senior technicians to have a practice with you? He’s requested some further experience on veins like yours. I’ll be watching him and with him the whole time.”

Me: “That sounds fine.”

(The head technician brings over a young man, and they prep everything accordingly. Then, at the point where he has to place the needle in, the head technician walks away!)

Young Tech: “Oops! Let me try again.”

(To my mildly-suppressed horror, he tries to find a vein five times!)

Me: “Um, is everything going okay?”

Young Tech: “Sorry, this won’t take too long. I’m just a bit nervous! Are you still okay?”

Me: “Um, yup, just do what you have to!”

(Trying to be helpful, I endure another ten minutes of him attempting to find the vein in my right arm, and missing every time.)

Young Tech: “It looks like this arm is useless, so I’m going to try your left arm!”

Me: “Um, okay?”

(The head technician wanders past and nods approvingly. The young tech gets my left arm set up. At this stage I’m not really into it, but feel like I’m committed, and I’m beginning to feel a little faint.)

Young Tech: “Here we go!”

(Here we do not go. After another twenty minutes of being used as a pin cushion, the young tech calls the head technician over.)

Head Technician: “Oh, well, it looks like we’ve exhausted both arms today! How much blood did we get?”

Young Tech & Me: “None.”

Head Technician: “Oh. Well, we can try again tomorrow!”

(As I am leaving, one of the nurses passes by and asked how things went. I explain, and she is aghast.)

Nurse: “It’s his first day!”

(I marched back to the head technician, who brushed off my concerns, even though all my paperwork said I had tricky veins and needed an experienced technician. The next day, I had deep blue bruises on both my arms from my mid-forearm to almost my armpit, which lead me to being spoken to by my managers about drug use. I didn’t go to give blood the next day!)

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