Updated: Dec 29, 2018
So guys this was like one of my biggest fears in nursing school and in nursing period! So on my third day at work of a really stressful demanding work holiday I finally catch a break and gets 4 patients! Battabing battaboom this is great since I’ve had 5 or 6 since Thanksgiving! I’m moving fast all my assessments are done. I’m passing meds I give one person theirs and I’m like boom next person because I know I have one patient more critical than the others and another who needs an admit assessment and I don’t want to have to leave late like I did earlier that morning! So I’m in my second patient’s room had just finished giving them all their meds, the only thing left to do was give them the lovenox injection. Right after giving said lovenox injection I poked my finger with the needle trying to pop the safety.
TALK ABOUT MOVING TOO FAST ! So basically my patient got 70 mg of lovenox but the supply came in 80 mg so obviously to not overdose my patient on lovenox I pulled it out and while trying to push the safety I got my finger in the process. Guys I am a living witness some of those safeties take the strength of God to push ! So the first thing I did was obviously wash my hands really really good then I went to tell my charge nurse. I didn’t see him at first so I told the other nurse who was there and obviously as dramatic as I am bust out crying but I called down. My patient was for the most part healthy but it’s the thought that so scary. So I had to make a trip to the ER....dun dun dunnnnnnnnnn! So I get signed into our ER it takes minutes and I’m put in a room. So I fill out a bunch of forms to register because I’ve never even been to the ER before I currently don’t have a PCP (primary care physician) because I never have time to do anything other than work so they assign a random doctor to me and less than 10 minutes later an ER doctor comes by and tells me the protocol which is as followed:
Lots of tests
Step one: I’m tested for anything I could get from the patient Hepatitis, HIV, etc
Step two: the patient is retested for all this infections as well
Step 3: I would be drug screened (urine and blood) and would have to perform a breathalyzer test!
Step 4 which to me was the hardest: waiting for the results
So the ER doctor like most ER doctors really nice and moving fast tells me his needlestick stories. He has had three in his career with one being on his birthday. He told me some statistics about Hepatitis and HIV like for hep it’s 1 in 100th chance I get it and for HIV it’s like 1 in 1000. He was asking my questions and in my head I’m so far gone. I’m thinking watch I’m the lucky 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000. Because I’m such a “lucky” person! So I waited in the ER about 30 minutes before the ER tech brought me to a room to pee in a cup for my drug test and I had the breathalyzer obviously both came back clean because one I don’t do drugs and two I don’t drink when I have to go to work! (Katch me on my off days tho!) So from there I had to sit about another 30 minutes waiting on my results. They came back and I was negative for HIV and Hep B and C (they were the only ones I knew to be worried about) So I’m thinking your girl is in the clear! They were like you can go back to work I’m like cool. As I rounded the corner to go back to the nurses station, I look at my patient’s door and boom a caddy for some kind of precautions. MY HEART DROPPED TO MY KNEESSSS! What the hell does my patient have? What did I just contract from this needlestick? Darrian you idiot 😭😭😭 Guys my patient was positive for MRSA. This is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a type of staph that is really really hard to treat in humans. Most of the tome doctors will have to put you on these really strong antibiotics like vancomycin or gentamicin to attempt to get rid of this super bug and sometimes it does not help it! Soooooooo my mind was in a frenzy but my charge nurse gave me a hug and told me it’s happened to us all and I’d never ever ever do it again. MOST DEFINITELY RIGHT!!!!
Well from this little incident I earned a trip to work care which is basically my hospital system's urgent care for work related injuries. The whole process took about an hour from signing in and getting registered until the end of my appointment. Basically took my vital signs and checked out the injury site which by the way looks perfectly fine and told me to come back in a week for another evaluation! The main moral to my story is any time you're dealing with needles be as careful as possible but do remember accidents do happen. People are not perfect and can make mistakes, and it's okay!
This was definitely a learning experience for me. So I would like to share some statistics about needle stick injuries from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most common bloodborne pathogens that health care workers are at risk for are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). A health care worker can be exposed to such virus buy one of two ways:
1) A percutaneous injury where the healthcare worker is injured by a sharp object (like me), or
2) Contact of mucous membranes (i.e. lips, mouth, nasal passages etc) or non-intact skin (i.e. open wounds, cuts, abrasions, etc) with the blood, tissue or other potentially infectious bodily fluids.
The estimated risk of HIV infection from a sharps injury is 1 in 300 with most injuries being to nurses and lab technicians. The chance of being infected with HBV from a needle stick injury is between 6 and 30 percent. The estimated risk of being infected with HCV is approximately 1.8 percent. For documented case numbers please feel free to check out the CDC's website link below!
Has this ever happened to you? Or is this one of your biggest fears? Let me know your stories and experiences in the comments!
XOXO... The Klassic Nurse 💋