Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Not for the Faint of Heart
I wrote on my blog about the different characters that I met in my life. This is one.
An unusual incident that occurred in my days of student training, I have kept it a secret for all these years. It happened while I was in my obstetrics rotation. One of the doctors decided to do a saddle block on a young woman in labor. The other student nurse who was with me was in her early forties while I was twenty-three.

The doctor eased a long, thin metal tube into place, inside the woman’s vaginal canal, it’s end touching the tip of her cervix. Next, he picked up a syringe with a long needle attached to the tip. The needle was at least ten inches in length. As he inserted needle into the tube, it made the rasping, grating sound of metal on metal.

I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. The sound was too much for the nurse standing beside me and caused her to faint. Fortunately, she was standing between me and a nearby wall. As her knees began to buckle, I leaned my weight, hardly moving at all, against her, pressing her tightly against the wall and keeping her upright.

When in nurses’ training, there was little that as more embarrassing than for a student nurse to faint. It was a bane to a student’s name to have “passed out’. It’s not a black mark against your training, but you can be certain you will be teased about it for a long, long time.

I turned my attention back to the procedure at hand and watched as the doctor completed the block. He had just removed the needle and the metal tube, when I felt a stirring of the weight on my shoulder. The wilted nursing student began to rouse. She shook her head, once, twice and then reclaimed her weight. As she straightened up, I leaned away from her as she stood back onto her feet.

A few seconds later, she leaned close to me and whispered into my ear, “Thank you.”

I can’t remember her name, so your secret is still safe with me.

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