Monday, April 21, 2008

easier than you think

When I applied for my job in the ER, I wanted it with an intensity that you can only get from fantasizing about something so hard and for so long. And as I sat for my interview, I thought it was going really well, and had (finally) started to think this could actually happen, when my future boss asked me the question I was dreading.



"So, how are your IV skills?" she asked.


Lots of things went through my head. The fact that we almost never started IVs in the ICU, since virtually everyone had a central line. The fact that this woman was a riot and I adored her instantly and wanted desperately to work for her. The fact that any IV I had ever hit in my life thus far had been a matter of sheer luck, done with shaking hands. And that there hadn't been many of those. The fact that I was petrified of IVs and that no matter how hard I chanted my little "face your fears" mantra, I still ran the other way when anyone mentioned them. The fact that I really am a pretty honest person, which led me to admit,


"Not so hot, to tell the truth."


My heart sank. I could feel my dream sliding away. We talked about other things for quite a while and when she offered me the job (on the spot), she said


"Don't worry. We'll teach you IVs. You'll get plenty of practice."


And I have. After a learning curve full of fear and frustrated anger and more than my fair share of anxiety, I've looked the beast in the mouth and realized it isn't so scary after all. Even crazier, I've started to really like doing them, to the point that I sometimes run around at work volunteering to start other people's lines for them. And when my mentor, the nurse whom I followed around like a puppy coveting her IV skills, asked me to try recently when she had missed twice on someone, and I sauntered into the room and nailed it, I had a feeling that was really hard to pin down.


It was an incredible rush. I had faced down something that terrified me and realized it wasn't so bad. I had taken something that in my opinion was one of the worst things I could have to do and seen that it wasn't such a big deal after all. And I had come out of it confident and proud and excited about what might lie ahead. The beast only looked like it roared. All it took was the right mindset to realize that if you never give up, good things will happen.


Not a bad lesson for life in general.

25 comments:

ped crossing said...

Bravo!

Does that mindset work with packs of three year olds?

Nervus Rex said...

I like this post! I can totally understand :) Woohoo for you!!!

Or that feeling when you manage to insert a foley on an old guy with an "innie"...

-Ann said...

Great story, excellent lesson, one that I'm continually relearning, since I'd sort of the slow kid in the class when it comes to fear-related issues.

Bitter Sweet Chocolate Irene said...

I hear you RC, I will try that, I really will. There's a big beast out there and it roars mightily, but I will face it down.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It also fascinates me when I see a doctor/nurse doing that IV thing. I think you're incredible and have obviously saved many lives during your time.

Crystal xx

Rudee said...

It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put our minds to it. It's also amazing what we can accomplish when mentored. Nice post.

kathy said...

Someone once said, the absence of faith is fear.

Simply Jenn said...

That IS one of the best feelings! I love when fears become friends.

Potty Mummy said...

Well put RC - and so true.

aims said...

I have those kinds of veins that everyone hates - and calls a specialist in without even trying...they are just so small and invisible...why is that??

That being said - I'd hand over my hand to you in an instant I think. It is so much easier afterwards than in the inside of the elbow...

PixelPi said...

You can draw my blood anytime, champ.

The last time I had one, it took 5 tries and 2 nurses. They finally called someone like you from another department, and she had that thing in a small rolling vein in my hand in less than 15 seconds.

Bravo for facing your fears. Were I a nurse, my fear would be bedpans.

the mother of this lot said...

I'd like to see the beast that tried to roar at you.

Maggie May said...

i really enjoyed reading that & felt like I was there with you. well done!

Akelamalu said...

I've lost count of the number of doctors who have tried to put an IV in me only to be shoved aside by a nurse who has been able to do it first time - and I've blessed them for it!

the planet of janet said...

you go, girl!!

Mya said...

'We have nothing to fear but fear itself' - JFK, I think. Nothing like facing down your demons to give you a lift. Keep on doing it RC.

Mya x

Mya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
girl with the mask said...

"Never give up and good things will happen": got it!

Thanks for sharing your story x

Jo Beaufoix said...

Too true my lovely, but easy to forget. x

my two cents said...

I'm glad there was a lesson in there because I think IVs are just awful!

Amy said...

You should publish daily affirmations or something.

Eileen said...

Excellent post!! Excellent point, so very, very true. A good way to look at difficult things in life. It is so important for us to remember this when the stress is high.
XOXO

Carolyn said...

Way to go!! My favourite part of the story was actually when you told the truth about your weakness. I'm not surprised you got offered the job on the spot. The truth, which you thought might make you look incompetent, actually had the opposite effect. It told your employer that you were real and trustworthy and worth teaching. Great story. Great lesson.

Kaytabug said...

What a great story! I really enjoyed reading this, what a lovely message!!

CrazyCath said...

Well done. That takes courage and humility. And you did it.

Respect.