I like pulling sheaths. A lot. I often find myself volunteering to do so for other nurses.
I like finding that place of control on a pulsating artery. I like the beauty of a perfect site after I’m done. I like seeing the red imprints of my fingers; Diana was here.
I like the complete trust the patient has in me. I can see it in their eyes – even those I’ve just met. It starts the moment I walk into their room. I talk them through the process before I put on one glove. I calmly describe what I’m doing as I feel for pulses, pull the tape away, snip the suture, slide the sheath out, and hold. And then we wait.
And we talk. Some of the best times are those periods of closeness between a patient and the nurse keeping a finger on their lifeline.
I like those 30 uninterrupted minutes with a patient.
*Combating work-related negativity since Oct 2010
** Due to *, I won’t wonder why the unit that was to be the special cath unit has not one single night nurse skilled to pull sheaths (since most sheaths left occur later b/c cath lab doesn’t stick around after 5p to pull them before sending patients to the floor). That would just be negative.