Wednesday, October 5, 2011

sweaty palms

This afternoon I am being tested on my ability to maintain a sterile environment when changing a wound dressing or inserting a catheter.  My patient will be one of the plastic mannikins we use in our state of the art health sciences lab. These skill check experiences are nerve wracking.  I'm a high anxiety sort of person anyway.  Add something like dealing with a plastic vajayjay (as in inserting a plastic tube, no less) while the critical eyes of my instructor watch  my every move and I am sweaty-palmed.

It's hard to don sterile gloves with sweaty palms.  Frankly, I think it's hard to don sterile gloves with dry palms.  You can only touch the gloves HERE when putting on the first, and HERE when you are putting on the second.  And once they're on, you can't touch anything that isn't sterile or they're contaminated and you have to start all over again with increasingly sweaty palms.

I'm forever searching my mind for ways of making these checkoff events less stressful.  This morning I had the bright idea that I'd pretend my plastic patient is my mother; then realized that I'd probably yell at the dummy or call it "Mom" in the middle of the exercise. 

What's the worst that can happen?  I won't pass the checkoff (been there, done that) and will have to repeat it at a later date (been there, done that) and will pass it then.  Life is short.  Don't sweat the small stuff, Alyx.


  1. Someday you'll laugh at all this.

  2. I agree with Linda. :)

    You are probably only nervous because you want to do a great job--and that's a good thing. Maybe if you imagine a real person, a stranger, is there and you don't want to make THEM nervous so you have to force yourself to be calm. I had a worse time with dummies or fellow students than I did with real patients because you know it's not real. (Not that I had to do catheters as an aide.) Maybe if you can imagine it really is your first live patient? ;)

    You'll do fine. :):)