Monday, February 17, 2014

Confidence Builder

Finally finding a career I want to do for the rest of my life has been life changing for me. Each and every day that I am at my job there is a moment where I have that "Aha Moment" and realize that I am exactly where I want to be in the path to my life-long career. 

I have been feeling more and more comfortable at my job these last couple of months. Instead of running everything by my supervisor, I've learned the things that I can do with my own discretion. I have taken on more responsibility, and I have been learning and successfully performing new skills. It's not often that I feel proud of myself, but right now I certainly do. 

I finally bit the bullet with a co-workers persuasion and decided to start doing rapid streps and influenza screens. I watched them be done a handful of times, but never had the courage to do it myself, being too afraid I would do it right. That I would stick the swab too far up a nose, or not get the right part of the throat during a swab. But as I was told with Strep screens, "If you gag them, you're doing it right" and with Influs "You're just tickling their brain and if they don't hate you after you're done, you did it wrong." Boy are they right! I've now done them several times and I think I've finally got it figured out. I definitely can't be afraid to be mean doing these, and it's something that I really, really hate doing. But I've sucked it up and have volunteered to go them. Something I didn't want to do before!!

I was also pretty uneasy with doing blood cultures on my own. It's difficult to transfer blood into the bottles while keeping pressure on the venipuncture site. I would always either go and just watch, or have someone help me. But once again, I bit the bullet and started volunteering to do them myself. I have successfully done 3 or 4 with no help and I feel like I've done a good job with it.

I have also started to volunteer to go draw ERs that we have. I was always very nervous when it came to people coming through those ER doors. You never know what you're going to encounter. Traumas, breathing problems, heart attacks. It's just scary because you don't know the kind of shape they are going to be in. I would stay behind, answer the phones, do outpatient draws and whatever I could do to help out as long as I didn't draw them. That or I would have a tech come with me as my moral support, or backup. I finally decided that enough was enough and that I needed experience or I wasn't going to get any better with it. My adrenaline really kicks in as I'm walking down the hall to ER and I used to start shaking really badly, which, naturally, makes it really hard to do your job. 

But I have sucked it up, taken a few big deep breaths, and told myself that it's OKAY to take my time. I do have to say that for the most part, I have overcome the ER fear that I used to have. I still do not do well with traumas or things like car crashes, and I have someone either come with me, or go draw themselves, but I'm trying to overcome that as well. 

We have seen a lot of sick kids and they are tough to draw! None of us like it, but a couple weeks ago my supervisor encouraged me to draw a little 3 year old. One of my co-workers went with me, as is needed to support their arm and help with distraction. I ended up missing, but she backed me up and got it. But it was a good experience for me and showed me that I can do it without freaking out. My problem was going to shallow because I used a butterfly needle in the antecube and I'm used to going shallow with butterflies due to being in the hands. But I then drew a 6 year old successfully even though he was super nervous. That's the youngest I've done successfully. We put so much pressure on ourselves to draw those kids and make sure it's a 1 time thing. So much pressure that I often chicken out. But I KNOW I can do it... and that's a huge deal for me. 

My confidence has grown significantly. In the ability I have to do my job, and the confidence that I have in myself. My co-workers believe in me and know I can do it, too, and that plays a huge roll. I've drawn a lot of really difficult patients recently. And I've done it without a problem.. only after sweating it for a few seconds before sticking the needle in their arm. Just praying I've hit the vein that I can't see and can hardly even feel.

Today I had a very, very nice complement. A lady who doesn't normally hand out compliments came up to the lab and asked if my co-worker was there. I told her that he wasn't working today. She responded with, "Well then I don't know if you'll be able to get any blood out of me!"I kind of giggled because a lot of people say that. My co-worker is known for getting some pretty tough sticks when the rest of us can't, or chicken out. He's been doing it a long time and while we are all capable of doing it, he is gutsy and just goes for it. I think that's one reason why he's so successful with his draws. But I digress. She told me, "You get 2 tries. That's absolutely it!" I giggled again and told her before we even got into the draw room that it was okay, we'd take a look and see what I can find. She then looked and me with a straight face and said, "No I'm serious. Only two tries. That's all." My other co-worker was coming back into the lab and heard that conversation. I went back into the lab and she just laughed at me and said, "No pressure at all!" I was a bit nervous, but was going to try anyway. I found one that felt pretty good and decided to go for it. I got it on the first try and after I pulled the needle out and smiled she seriously told me, "You're even better than Mike." That's the best compliment that I've ever received because, as I said, she doesn't give out compliments and he can get just about anyone. Everyone asks for Mike. 

Today I was also able to get a man who never let me draw him before. I've won him over and now he doesn't ask for anyone else when he knows I'm the one that's going to do it. After I was done he told me, "You're just getting pretty good at that." Usually he flinches, a very low pain tolerance, but this time he didn't move an inch. 

I love my job. I love my patients and I love the residents at the home. I just love what I do. It's been a good few weeks and work and I'm looking forward to when I can go back to school, and maybe even come back for a year or two to learn the ropes as a tech. They have all said they really want me to come back after school. It's such a good feeling to be wanted.

1 comment:

  1. Love it!!! That's so exciting! AHH I wanna work in a clinic! I'm great in the classroom, but man I want to help out in that way. So glad you are finding job satisfaction - there's nothing like it!