rashid elhawli

Mental block

Invading people’s privacy is part and parcel of what health professionals do. Privacy in this case is willingly given up in order to assist those caring for the patient. The consequences of this are the great burdens of responsibility afforded to the carer.

This was a hard reality to come to terms with, especially for somebody who likes to give people their space. I couldn’t fathom the idea of anyone intruding into my personal space, so why would I willingly do exactly that, to someone else?!

Needless to say, it’s just one of those things that has to be done, because most times it’s in the best interest of the patient. This hesitancy lasted until I did my most invasive procedure yet: insert an IV cannula.

Cannulas are the lines put into a patient’s vein in hospital, giving the treating staff easy access to administration of medication. Below shows the cannula before it’s capped and taped.

In the lead up to finally getting to this point, my stomach knotted multiple times over. I was always afraid of inflicting this kind of pain on anybody, let alone someone in my care. Then of course, there are the insane thoughts of the ramifications of something going wrong and how that would manifest in the patient. You’re probably thinking ‘don’t overthink it, it’ll be right’ and ‘they know that you have to learn’. All of that is true. However, the hardest part is the inner conflict and resistance from yourself, more than anyone else. Yes, there is pressure to keep the process as clean as possible, nonetheless there is room for improvement.

The supervisors are vital in this case, as they can read the situation and jump in when necessary. Thankfully, I was able to get through that mental hurdle and have now completed a few of these. Each one with its unique circumstances and story. However, as an individual this represented a huge milestone as it was one of my biggest mental challenges to date. Being the cause of someone’s agony would pain me to no end, and one of my motivations for entering the industry was to do just the opposite. Therefore, I’m glad this hurdle was overcome and I look forward to learning many more useful patient supporting techniques.

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