Karly

So sorry about this question!

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Hello everyone! I know this question is not going to be EMS related that's why I picked this section here. But I can not find anywhere else online to answer my question and there is one forum site for this kind of question but from me looking through it the site looks barely active haha. But anyways I am about to start a phlebotomy class at my local college. It's a multiple part course I am taking that gets our IV cert, phlebotomy cert, clinical medical asst cert, and then also our EKG cert. We come out as patient care techs in six months with job placement. So I went to the orientation for the phlebotomy class and one of the instructors said that on the second official night of the class we will start sticking each-other because we have so little time to pick up the skill until till we go to the next course. Now there's some people in the class that I wouldn't even let hand me  a pair of scissors, let alone stick me with a needle. Which I hate! I am not a baby about it but I do get pain out of it. So my question to those on here that have done IV certs and that start them daily as well as draw blood, how hard of a skill is it to actually pick up? How great of a danger is it that someone will go all the way through a vein? I mean is it like something you can feel that you've successfully made it into the vein and know how to stop, or do you just sort of figure it out by the gauge needle you are using? 

I know this isn't related to EMS (so sorry!) but I just figured there's people here that do this on the daily and are practically experts by it now! I'll appreciate any answers. 

Edited by Karly

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Hello Karly,  this is very related to EMS because we use needles all the time to do venipunctures and start IV's  on people.  We also learned on each other in class so we all had to start somewhere.  And yes, there were people in my class that I wouldn't have wanted anywhere near me with kindergarden scissors but you have to get over that hurdle because you might be surprised, one of those people you have a fear about might just be a great stick, you never know, and don't be surprised, or shocked but i'm thinking that there are some in your class that might not want to hand you a pair of scissors either.  gasp, so don't be so judgemental.  

But, that being said,  you will know when you are in the vein, you will feel a pop or feel resistence and then the resistence will go away.  Hopefully the school you are in will have an iv arm for you to practice on first so you get somewhat of a feel of what a vein feels like when you put a needle through it.  If they don't have one then sad to say your school kind of sucks.  

but that being said, and if your school can't afford an IV arm and relies on your classmates as IV arms then get ready to look like a junkie because you are going to be stuck and stuck and stuck and yes you will bruise because most if not all of your classmates will blow your veins as will you blow most of your classmates veins until you get proficient enough not to. 

So put away your judgmental attitude of your other classmates, keep your scissors in your pocket, and just roll with the IV needles and keep some icepacks handy.  Within a couple of classes you and your classmates will be hitting each others veins like pros.  

It really does get easier the more you do it.  

One thing I will tell you NOT NOT NOT to do, do NOT take any needles home with you to practice on your boyfriend, family or friends, that's a big no no.  We had a couple of medic student classmates do that and when they got caught, they were kicked out of class.  That's bad form and bad mojo. 

Good luck on your class.  You can do this.  

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Speaking as BLS, I've seen my Paramedics have both good and bad days starting IVs, so presume the same for both your classmates and yourself,

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Hello Karly,  this is very related to EMS because we use needles all the time to do venipunctures and start IV's  on people.  We also learned on each other in class so we all had to start somewhere.  And yes, there were people in my class that I wouldn't have wanted anywhere near me with kindergarden scissors but you have to get over that hurdle because you might be surprised, one of those people you have a fear about might just be a great stick, you never know, and don't be surprised, or shocked but i'm thinking that there are some in your class that might not want to hand you a pair of scissors either.  gasp, so don't be so judgemental.  

But, that being said,  you will know when you are in the vein, you will feel a pop or feel resistence and then the resistence will go away.  Hopefully the school you are in will have an iv arm for you to practice on first so you get somewhat of a feel of what a vein feels like when you put a needle through it.  If they don't have one then sad to say your school kind of sucks.  

but that being said, and if your school can't afford an IV arm and relies on your classmates as IV arms then get ready to look like a junkie because you are going to be stuck and stuck and stuck and yes you will bruise because most if not all of your classmates will blow your veins as will you blow most of your classmates veins until you get proficient enough not to. 

So put away your judgmental attitude of your other classmates, keep your scissors in your pocket, and just roll with the IV needles and keep some icepacks handy.  Within a couple of classes you and your classmates will be hitting each others veins like pros.  

It really does get easier the more you do it.  

One thing I will tell you NOT NOT NOT to do, do NOT take any needles home with you to practice on your boyfriend, family or friends, that's a big no no.  We had a couple of medic student classmates do that and when they got caught, they were kicked out of class.  That's bad form and bad mojo. 

Good luck on your class.  You can do this.  

Thank you thank you! Haha.

I didn't mean to be too judgmental about the whole scissors thing, I was just saying it because a couple girls in the class were talking about how they'd be freaking out if blood starting spewing everywhere and wouldn't be able to handle it. BUT I suppose I'll have to put that to the side for now.

I did see those fake arm things in class that you practice on. So hopefully that's what the first night will be all about. Also I sort of figured about the not taking needles thing. I heard about a kid in the last class that took a stethoscope and BP cuff home, didn't bring it back and got kicked out. There's actually a week we have to bring our own volunteers in to practice sticking on to be able to move on with the class.

 

Appreciate the advice and info! :)

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I'm so glad you came back,  shows gumption. and I wasn't berating you, I was just letting you know that some of those people in your class might just surprise you.  

but yes, practicing on other people is just par for the course, but I am surprised that they are making you bring in someone from your circle of friends to practice on.  maybe you could bring one of your frenemies!!!! ha ha

 

But seriously,  the more practice you get the better you get.  But I do have to tell you, there were some people in my class who I still to this day shake my head and wonder "how the hell did they make it out of medic school when they get lost in a paper bag"

keep your chin up, you might just like this stuff enough to go on and be a medic or a doctor or what not. 

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keep your chin up, you might just like this stuff enough to go on and be a medic or a doctor or what not. 

Know who is probably the worst person at getting peripheral IVs?

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Yeah, rumor has it on this page that a certain ERDoc pulls homeless people off the streets to start his IV's and venipunctures.  

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Know who is probably the worst person at getting peripheral IVs?

I did have a doc the other night dis-impact a lady for me so you never know!  Maybe doctors can do the work of nurses and medics, only the really smart ones though :)

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Where is this utopia where nurses do disimpactions?  I can tell you why he did it.  Disimpactions reimburse really well.  I've probably done 2 peripheral IVs in the last 10 years (yup, my nurses are that good) and one of them was because I wanted to.  

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