Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Everyone makes them. Right? Well today I made one. Here's the story. It may or may not have involved a needle...

This cartoon is too perfect, and no, I did not intentionally try to give a sham injection
...just for the record
I was giving an injection to one of our senators at the Capitol Building today in Lansing. I was doing a great job talking to her, making her comfortable, A+ in the doctor patient relationship category. I cleaned the skin with an alcohol pad, let it dry, removed the protective cap on the needle, grabbed a cotton ball, and stuck the needle into the deltoid muscle. But, to my surprise, the pump was completely compressed and there was no flu vaccine in the syringe.


I pulled the needle out and placed it in the sharps bin. Then, my mind going a mile a minute, explained that there had been no vaccine in the syringe when I'd gone to give the injection. Panic was evident in her eyes as she replied, "Well, that sounds really bad."

I did my best to my compose myself, assure her that it had been a clean, but unfortunately empty syringe, and that she did not receive any vaccine. I had to call our supervisor over...explain it again...listen to her calm the patient down...have her watch me (very closely) give the injection again...apologize to the patient...watch her leave....and then listen to a lecture from our supervisor on the need to be aware of everything we are doing. I'm thankful she didn't make me feel worse than I already felt but, still... here's what I learned and will never forget.

Always make sure the syringe has the vaccine or medicine in it before you stick the patient. 
...even if they are a Democrat : )

*Sorry, I couldn't help myself, I was giving flu shots at the Capitol, it had to get political!