ER nurses have to collect a lot of blood. Many times it’s from patients that are either acting like total douche bags or from HIV/Hep C positive patients. My unit also uses a lot of butterflies to collect blood. I have also used my fair share of butterflies because they are really easy to manoeuvre but I can never activate their safety feature with one hand. I’m of course reluctant to put my hand near a used needle to try to cover it up. I also find that sometimes I can’t draw blood fast enough even when I see flash in the chamber. On top of all that, half the time the lab sends back a report that tells me I need to draw up another set of INRs/PTs because the first sample did not yield adequate results. Patients really love me when I have to tell them that they’ll have to wait for at least another two hours and that I’ll have to poke them again. But then I discovered the passive shielding blood collection needle. I freaking LOVE this thing! I get the vein EVERYTIME, get my blood drawn super fast and don’t get back angry lab reports. The passive shielding needle is a bit harder to manoeuvre than the butterfly but once you get the hang of it, you can’t go back. Best of all, as soon as you withdraw the needle, the safety shield clicks in automatically which means I have no chance of getting a needle stick when someone flinches their arm away or decides to have a seizure in the middle of venipuncture. I’m still working on my dexterity with this, but I think I’ll be reserving the butterfly for really tiny veins and smaller people.
I realize that this post sounds like a total testimonial for the BD folks, I (unfortunately) was not paid to write this. Its just something I now love! And yes, I’m a big time nerd.