My “First” – A Blog Post

The first woman I took blood from in the ER asked me, “Are you any good? I have no veins. I don’t want to be a pin cushion.” I could feel and see her fear. “I know how you feel—don’t worry— I use a baby needle— takes a bit longer, but I won’t hurt you.” I saw her anxiety dissipate. They were ruling out a heart attack, and I told her to take deep breaths and relax as I palpated her arm with closed eyes, my fingers searching for the right spot. I learned to stay calm and focused— to use all of my senses with the patient: to listen carefully and observe, to touch and smell their essence in the air— and if I had a sour taste in my mouth, or if my body became rigid on high alert— I learned to pay attention.