Harpooning the Vein

Harpooning the Vein

 

Shawna L Swetech, RN

Spring 2006 - Volume 10 Number 1

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/05-035

Are they prominent and soft, or fine

like dark thread? Are they hidden

beneath spongy layers of adipose?

And the skin, is it thick like tanned leather,

or thin like a white veil separating

the inner and outer worlds?

Should I use a tourniquet?

Will the vein distend and harden,

roll from the needle's probe?

Or will binding pressure burst

the thin blue line, ecchymosis

purpling the tissues.

Take a deep breath, I say,

imagine your vein is a caterpillar,

fat and juicy. I swipe antiseptic

across the target, twirl the steel

stylette in the cannula.

Please, God.

Please let me get in, first stick.

I can't think of this as real now,

can't think of causing pain, injury.

The angiocath becomes a harpoon,

the arm a lifeless fish.

I pierce the flesh --

Don't move now! and wait

for crimson flashback in the needle's hub.

Score, there it is. I hook up tubing,

chevron the paper tape over and under,

place a see-through dressing.

Blue lights flash, the IV pump

beeps to life.

Yes. I have been granted the power again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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