Jan 072013

“I was just going to draw some blood.  I would have been done before you even noticed.” – L&D Nurse to mother who awoke to find the nurse standing next to her bed in a pitch dark room holding a syringe.

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 January 7, 2013  informed consent, L&D Nurse  Add comments

  100 Responses to ““…I Would Have Been Done Before You Even Noticed.””

  1. Holy crumbcake. Either the nurse has infra-red vision or the worst judgment in the world. (Or both.)

  2. Holy crumbcake. Either the nurse has infrared vision or the least common sense in the world. (Or both.)

  3. Either the nurse has infrared vision or the least common sense in the world. (Or both.)

    Funny, but I thought we had the right to informed refusal. And why was the L&D nurse drawing blood?

  4. Either the nurse has heat-seeking vision or the least common sense in the world. (Or both.)

    Funny, but I thought we had the right to informed refusal. And why was the L&D nurse drawing blood?

  5. Not even mentioning how wrong this is…. it would be a good way to get killed by me. I have a phobia of needles. Waking up to one…… my reaction would be involuntary, and NOT NICE. Really stupid move, nurse.

  6. CREEPER!!!
    I would have screamed before she could have opened her mouth!!

    You NEVER sneak up on people with needles in your hand!!

  7. Ack! Just reading that made my heart jump and my skin crawl. I have to do deep breathing to calm down enough to get any kind of needle stick. I can’t imagine the trauma of waking up to that! I’m sure she was thinking that she would let the mother sleep, and that was nice. But this was NOT the way to do it! Maybe she could have waited until morning to draw the blood if she wanted to let the mom sleep.

  8. I had something similar happen to me after my son was born. The nurses came in in the middle of the night to take blood. I don’t remember if they intentionally woke me up first or not. I do remember being very groggy and unable to really protest when they also decided they’d move my heplock while they were at it. The new spot they picked was very uncomfortable and they refused to take it out or move it in the morning. I’ve gotten much better at advocating for myself since then.

  9. Are you frickin kidding me?! What the frick happened to consent? You’re going to take my bodily fluids and not ask me? I am so pissed right now.
    OP, I hope you knocked the needle out of her hand and scared the heck out of her.

    • It’s a low risk, low uncertainty procedure.

      • Not the point. My body, my choice.

      • What are they looking for with a blood-draw postpartum? Would that not be able to wait until morning?

        • Or at least until the mother was awake and aware? I can’t imagine the damage that needle could do if she jerked awake (like I would)!

          • Not only that, but the OP says the room was dark. How good was the nurse’s eyesight, that she could draw blood in the dark?

          • This irks me so much. So far I’ve twice witnessed a doctor trying to stick someone in the dark unsuccessfully – first was during my first practical: an i.v. into an old lady, taking five tries (on the back of the hand where it hurts like a mofo), I actually got nauseous from her hiss of pain and had to step away. Second was three years ago mid study, when my brother was hospitalized due to an unstoppable nosebleed and the doc took three tries in the dimmed room. I get that in emergency situations any try can be vital, but in a non-emergent situation at night? It’s surely nice that they don’t want to disturb the patient with bright light, but jamming a needle in several times is hellishly painful! (Yes, you mainly do sticks by feel of the vein instead of the sheer look, but it certainly helps to have some light to aid you… because even after hitting, you need to actually *see* that it’s placed properly by seeing the blood at the end of the canula.) My samples are bad anyway, since usually you’re encouraged to switch persons after missing the second time (and this doesn’t only apply to med students but also to doctors, when other docs are available). It’s simply common courtesy to the patient to admit that something is hard, and to get someone more experienced.

      • Every single stick is a bodily harm/assault and has to be consented to by the patient (unless it’s an unconscious emergency patient), which is why – in theory – no med student (and no doctor) is allowed to do a draw without asking the patient’s consent. In reality you usually don’t ask every time, i.e. when you do daily draws, but at every time the patient could say no – and if you did it against their expressed wish, they *can* sue you. At least that’s how it is in Germany. (Doesn’t happen in reality either, but NO WAY is it okay to secretely creep up in the dark to take a surprise blood draw with a new stick. Taking blood out of a lying i.v. – which is painless btw. – would be fine in my book when the patient knows that it is done regularly, but yeah, when the patient confronts you and is clearly suprised and startled, behave professionally and explain yourself!

        • She can remove consent, just as she did. Most people however sign a blanket consent upon entering the hospital.

          • She was only able to “remove consent” because she woke up. She wasn’t asked permission, but it’s not even like the nurse came at her with a needle and said “I’m going to do this.” The nurse didn’t even intend to allow her the chance to withdraw consent.

          • Goldilocks,are you defending this nurse’s actions? Or just commenting on reality?

          • I am commenting on reality, as a student shadow I saw tons of people stuck with no real consent and some of them only realizing mid draw. I don’t necessarily think it’s right, just that she most likely doesn’t have a court case.

          • Really glad you clarified here. Due (I’m guessing)to the typing-on-the-internet-no-tone-of-voice-phenomena, your comments in this string of replies come off as tacit approval for the nurse’s actions, which is a little horrifying for me to think about in someone training to be an OB.

            (It came off that way to me, anyway. Others may have got your intent from the start.)

      • And your point is…?
        So is it OK to do a vaginal exam on a woman who is asleep, then?
        If you want to touch me, let alone actually do an invasive (into my body) procedure, you ask me first. Every time.

        • There is a reason for blanket consent forms, it’s the hospitals way of covering themselves for events like this. Besides legally you don’t need a consent form for a needle draw, you just need simple consent, IE the person sitting there not screaming at you.

          As for VE on sleeping women, go google that and tell me what you come up with. The answer might surprise you.

          • There is a reason for blanket consent forms, it’s the hospitals way of covering themselves for events like this.

            This makes me reluctant to ever again sign a blanket consent form.

            Last week I found out that when I consented to have my doctor’s office do a blood test for one thing, they also tested me for eight other unrelated things, some of which I’d been tested for only weeks earlier at another doctor’s office. I’m getting to the point where I may pretty much want to issue a blanket “assume denial of consent unless consent is given” because it’s getting ridiculous. “Is there blood leftover after everything else you tested? Okay, then test her for malaria and immunity to rubella.” :-b

          • I have already started to write on all consent forms, “I will practice informed consent/refusal for all procedures no matter how routine.” I found out the hard way after falling victim to signing the blanket consent form.

          • This is a really good suggestion, Ashley, and I’m going to start doing it! Thank you!

          • A blanket consent form is just a general consent to treat. It covers the hospital in emergency situations. You still need to obtain (at least) verbal consent for any test, treatment, medication, or procedure. Ask your hospital ombudsman/patient advocate – the “blanket consent” does not trump informed consent for specific procedures. The nurse should have woke the woman and told her what she wanted to do and why. (and what are they doing blood work PP for anyway? seems odd… precipitous labor where they didn’t have the chance to do the blood work earlier maybe? still warrants explanation) Going around sticking sleeping people with needles is a good way for a nurse to get fired.

          • It’s pretty scary that VE’s can be done with “implicit” consent. I wonder if they check men’s prostates with “implicit” consent? I doubt it.

          • Oh, I don’t need to google it to know it happens.
            I was asking if you thought it was ok to do it, not if it happens.
            It happens even in situations where the woman is in surgery for a completely unrelated procedure. They sometimes ‘use’ those sleeping women to practice digital cervical and vaginal exams.
            Which is why I’ve instructed my husband to NEVER consent to general anesthetic for anything. My mother had surgery on her retina without general anesthetic. I’m sure they could figure something out. I’ll make up an allergy if necessary.

          • I have personally never seen it done nor participated in it, and as a women who might someday have to undergo surgery I don’t think it’s right. However, I do understand why it was done in the period in which it was common (I am not sure about today, I am almost certain we use SP’s for all of that now). The issue they ran into was no one was willing to volunteer their vagina so a doctor in training could learn how to give a pelvic. However, they expected their doctor to know how to give a pelvic and demanded trained personal. So essentially it was a devils snare in which no one wants to pay the cost, but everyone wants the benefit.

          • I have been asked on several occasions if I would allow students to examine me and I usually consent, even to pelvic exams (I used to live close to a teaching hospital and my GP usually had at least one student with him). If I’m asked first and awake, it isn’t usually a problem for me. I’m willing to bet that most women who are approached honestly and respectfully, and then thanked would feel the same way. I’m pretty old fashioned about modesty, but I’ve never minded the students.

            However I think what you’re talking about here has more to do with the students’ and the physicians’ embarrassment than the patients’. I am willing to bet that most patients are not even given the chance to consent to an exam while awake before their trusted physicians resort to violating them while they are under. They don’t want the student to look awkward or uneducated in front of the patient, they don’t want to risk being laughed at, they don’t want to waste time doing it gently and they don’t want to have to humble themselves and ask a woman for permission. That might give her the crazy idea that she is somehow their peer and should be treated with respect and even thanked. That’s my theory anyway. I’m sure sometimes it is a case of a creepy doctor enjoying themselves, but for the most part I think that asking permission and performing an awkward exam on a patient who can see you screw up and knows they are doing you a favor makes physicians and students feel vulnerable, and reminds them that the patient is a person with feelings and autonomy over their body.

          • I suspected this, but to see it confirmed is pretty disturbing. Thank God I have never been anesthetized in my life, now I know to specifically deny consent for that. Imagine that I probably wouldn’t even trust them that they wouldn’t.

      • Matters not. The fact of the matter is that this nurse attempted to do a procedure on a woman without consulting her first. That’s unacceptable and anyone that says otherwise worries me.

    • I think all of you ladies would enjoy reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I can’t remember the authors name at the moment, but it is a non fiction book that reads like a fiction novel that is pretty interesting regarding patients rights. Specifically your bodily fluids/tissues after they have been removed from the body. I was appalled and intrigued for most of the read. (I’ve never commented before, but I’ve been reading the site for a while. Hi, Ladies!)

      • That story is amazing! I meet a bit (okay about a million cells) of the immortal Henrietta Lacks. Have you heard the newest info about her cell line? It is pretty wild.

        • No, I haven’t heard any new information. Please do tell, I find HeLa absolutely fascinating!

          • Well some people are arguing that that the HeLa line should be considered it’s own species. The arguments hinge on the fact that it clearly has escaped our control and that it’s DNA is unique, it doesn’t contain even most the genes to make a human any more.

      • Knowing the basic story but not having read the book… do you think it would be good for a group of interested homeschooled teens to read? If so I may need to get a copy to prep up a co-op class on sometime. :) I’m guessing it would be awesome… science, ethics, all kind of directions to learn and discuss. :)

        • Ok… that is clear as mud. I mean of course that *I* know the basic story but have not read the book… and would like the opinions of those that have read the book.

          • Well it honestly doesn’t go that deep into the science, although it explains it. The book more focuses on the ethical issues surrounding the event. It also talks a fair amount about racism and the African American experience with biomedical science.

          • Well for that I was thinking we could supplement the reading with Science reading/discussion going from what is in the book… but I’m guessing it would get beyond us fairly fast.

            As long as the reading wasn’t crazy difficult or far too easy… and there wasn’t a lot of horrid language or such (don’t know why this one would need that!) I think this one would be a great book to consider. Hmmmm… lol.

            We have plans for this semester already but this could make the Fall list. Maybe along side the Chemistry class I’m hoping to offer. :)

            Thanks for your input!

      • They’re opening a new school in my town this fall named after her. I was delighted when I heard. http://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/index.ssf/2012/10/new_vancouver_high_school_will.html

  10. It’s so dark did the nurse even read the chart to see if the mother had an objection to blood draws? Some people have religious objections to such practices. I would have smacked the nurse.

  11. This doesn’t even seem like it would work? At least not the majority of the time. Do most patients really sleep right through blood draws?

    • I have met two absolutely great phlebotomists. I am dead serious when I say that I could not feel anything at all. I would react more strongly to a mosquito. I wish I had super powers like that.

  12. It might be just me, but isn’t this kind of creepy? My first thought would have been phsycho nurse with a needle in the dark, get the hell out or I’m calling security!

  13. Ive been working my way back through the archives the last few days as I’m new. I have gone trough over 70 pages so far. Some make me laugh, some make me rage. All of them have reaffirmed my desire to be a CNM and stand against the tidal wave of stupid.

    This was this first to make me jump and say “GAH!” to my empty room. And I’m not even afraid of needles.

    • I’m sorry to say that you are going to be doing it a lot more. Things can get scary, creepy and tragic on here.

    • Curious question why CNM? Why not OB?

      • That’s kinda like asking why become an accountant if you’re not planning on becoming a CPA? Or why become a nurse at all, shouldn’t everybody be a doctor? And why go into teaching unless you plan on becoming a principal? Why become a lawyer unless you plan to become a judge? Why be a plumber unless you plan to start your own company?

        Curious question, why NOT CNM? Not everyone who desires to go into health care wants to be a doctor (or can afford 4 years of medical school). Maybe she’s already a nurse and it would only require a little more education and training; whereas if she tried to become an OB she’d need medical school, residency, etc.

        What a loony question. But, given what you’ve contributed thus far, not surprising.

        • Hm, I agree with your essential premise, but I think a more apt analogy would be “Why become a dentist instead of an oral surgeon?” or “Why coach a sports team instead of becoming a personal trainer?” or maybe the nurse-doctor or lawyer-judge example, since those functions are different in so many ways. Because a CNM isn’t just a “lower-level” version of an OB… As I’m sure you know… One serves a different function than the other, which in itself is enough to inspire a preference other than, for example, not wanting to attend an additional x more years of school.

          Sorry to sound so nitpicky, LOL… I’m sure we agree. I just got out of an argument where someone was trying to say she approved of MWs, but that they were not “experts” in birth like OBs. And my point to her was that OB were more expert in things like surgery, BUT MWs were (generally) more expert in normal birth, which made their functions different– not like a MW is “just” an OB who can’t do surgery or something. The OB generally also lacks some skills the MW has.

          • Hmmm. An accountant isn’t just a “lower level” CPA. A teacher isn’t just a “lower level” principal. A plumber isn’t just a “lower level” entrepreneur. CPAs can do things that other accountants cannot. Just like OBs can do things that CNMs cannot. That doesn’t mean you need a CPA to perform every accounting function in your business; just like you don’t need an OB for every female health issue. And often, not only do you not need the CPA/OB, it is desirable to have someone with more specific skills (an accountant with industry-specific experience; a CNM who is experienced in helping women cope in unmedicated deliveries).

            My pointing out the difference in educational requirements was not intended to “put down” nurses or nurse midwives in any way. As you said, most of that training is in more complex things (surgery, pathology, etc). It was only to point out that becoming a doctor is a HUGE investment and not everyone who desires to be in the health care field wants to be a doctor.

            Maybe I should have asked Goldilocks, why OB, why not MFM? lol

          • Yes, and I admit, most of your examples pointed to difference rather than “rank”– I was just coming off this other conversation. But what I meant was that it’s *not* exactly that OBs can do things CNMs cannot. Unless we also say that CNMs can do things that OBs cannot, which is also true. Theoretically, it maybe shouldn’t be true (like theoretically, an OB could do what a CNM could do, but with additional training in surgery and additional legally sanctioned abilities) but their training is so different that it’s usually not true. A CNM is likely much better and differently skilled in supporting a normal, low-intervention birth (than an OB) in a way that a non-CPA accountant might not be better or differently skilled at handling a certain accounting issue (than a CPA).

            (Funny enough, my dad is a CPA, though he worked without one for a long time, and my mom is a doctor!)

          • Actually I might go onto MFM, I haven’t decided on that yet, but I am really interested in it (the extra 3-4 year fellowship is kind of why I keep groaning at it, 12 years in higher education seems like kind of enough to me I would like to be done with being a full time student at some point in my life).

            As for why not CNM, honestly I worked with nurses for years as a volunteer, they are some of the hardest working and under appreciated people in the hospital. I greatly respect their commitment and the services they provide to patients. I however don’t want to provide those services. I am not a people person, I am rather shy and reclusive and often have been told I appear either cold and distant or like I am attending a funeral everyday (literally got stopped in the hall to ask if I ever smile, it was really embarrassing). This pretty much would make me a fail as a nurse.

        • I think it’s a fair question, asked merely because curious, not judgmentally. Shoot you might ask the same thing of all the professions you listed. It doesn’t mean the choice is WRONG, but there’s nothing wrong with asking about it.

          • Yeah, that’s pretty much how I read it. But I tend to look at a statement or question, and, if finding more than one possible interpretation, default the the most innocuous.

          • I never meant it as an insult….just curious. I never meet someone who was aiming for CNM, I know a ton of people training as surgical nurses (odd amount of them in transplant actually) and more doctors in training then I can shake a stick at.

        • I was asking because she is interested in policy change (as she called the tidal wave of stupid), CNM’s don’t write policy, MD’s and administrators do. When you apply to medical school you get asked why MD, why not nursing? Accouting? Scuba coaching and anything else they can think of. I figured if you can ask 30,000 people a year without traumatizing them then I can ask Mndjoy just fine.

          • Just so you know, CNMs do participate in policy change at both the facility and state level. As licenced PCPs they are instrumental in advocating and writing policy for APRNs. It’s actually a pretty significant part of our education (says the current Master’s degree candidate working toward her CNM license). And, to answer your statement from just above this one, I’m one of a number of people who entered the nursing profession specifically with the goal of CNM in mind. I just haven’t decided yet if I’ll stop at the graduate level or go on to get my doctorate – depends on how carefully I want to ration out my remaining brain cells to school work, I suppose. :)

        • Or as one professional to another, she could just be curious what drew her to the field, ie being unable to help in a past tragedy or witnessing an inspiring event or having a wonderful teacher. Chill out!

          • No harm intended. Given many of her comments on this and various other threads, I was hesitant to buy a big-toe-in-the-sand routine. But if that is precisely what it was, super

      • Leaving aside, for the moment, the differences in the midwifery and medical models of care for childbearing women, if she is already a nurse, do you understand how large a difference in remaining training time these 2 options entail. I am a baccalaureate prepared RN with a masters in public health. It would take me 2 to 4 years depending on program and credit load of additional education to become a CNM or NP. Most medical specialties would require an additional 8 or 9 years of education. (1 year minimum of med school prereqs, 4 years of med school, an intern year and 2 years of residency. Advanced practice nursing builds on my previous education and experience (9 years of nursing). Med school assumes it it has no value. that assumes I am willing to put myself and my family through the ancient hazing ritual that is medical training.

        I can’t speak for the previous poster, but I know that I could have gone to medical school. I outperformed the premed student in many of my science classes, and outperformedost of the MD/PhD students in a year of graduate biostatistics. My best friend and my aunt are both MDs so i understand what it involved. But the fact is, I love my profession and would not have made a different choice.
        I cannot speak for the above

      • I actually get asked this a lot. Mostly boils down to two things. First, I’m a “crunchy” type who believes in holistic care, and from my reasearch, midwifery is the way to go. Second, my aunt was a L&D and nursery nurse for decades, and a damn good one. She caught me. :) When she died a couple of years ago, I decided to be a nurse to honor her memory. She was really a second Mom to me, and I miss her everyday.

        • Your aunt sounds like she was a pretty amazing woman! I’m so sorry for your loss.

          • She was. :) Christmas has been hard these last few years (it was her favorite time of year, and she died not long after Thanksgiving), but I find little ways to honor her, like buying new Christmas jewelry every year, and wearing a piece everyday from Thanksgiving through New Year’s, as she did.

            In fact, I made up my mind to go into nursing shortly before she died, so I got to tell her about it. Sorry for the off topic ramble, but I’ve been missing her a LOT lately, and this has actually helped me. So, thanks for listening, I guess.

  14. If a nurse doesn’t want consent to remove things from my body, I can only I aging what she’s willing to put into my body without consent. Creepy. I think I’d be checking out AMA at that point.

  15. This is beyond unacceptable! A person has the right to be consulted on anything and everything in regards to their own body. You do NOT get to lay a hand on a person, plain and simple!

    Something similar happened to me once. I was sound asleep under the influence of pain meds and sleep aids. I woke up at four in the morning to find a nurse removing my blankets and pulling up my nightgown. Needless to say, I FLIPPED out! She was startled at how angry I was. “I have to give you this shot in your belly and I didn’t want to wake you!” Um, what the hell? I didn’t consent to a shot in my stomach and I sure didn’t consent to you touching me without permission!

  16. OMG this same thing happened to me when I was hospitalized except I was THREE YEARS OLD at the time. Woke up screaming my bloody head off. And now have a fear of hospitals… gee I wonder why? Is that really so common? I thought it was just one bizarro nurse, but I guess not!

  17. Same thing happened to me except VERY different situation.
    I was in the cardiac unit for a pulmonary embolism. The night nurse would have to come in very early morning and give me my lovenox (blood thinner) shot. Once my husband was able to get leave to come to the hospital, I was finally able to sleep well. Slept like the dead that first night he arrived. I didn’t respond to the night nurse waking me up. My hubby gave permission for the shot but I was clueless. Sorry for the OP, that must have been creepy.

  18. The nurse definitely should ask permission first – but maybe she does have awesome needle skills (if not people skills). One time (only had it happen one time :( but it CAN be done) when I was on hospital bed rest, the lab tech did it painlessly. If I had not watched him do it, I would not have known. Of course, he did not sneak up on me.

  19. This is not my story, but I had a similar experience. I woke up in the middle of the night to a needle being put in my arm for a blood draw. My next birth was at home. No needles required!

  20. Er… you don’t draw blood with a syringe. What was in the syringe and why did it need to be administered to a sleeping woman?

    • You’ve made a good point. I’m thinking maybe syringe wasn’t the right word? A lot of people that aren’t particularly familiar with the medical field call anything with a needle a syringe.

    • It was probably a VacuTainer system the nurse had, but most people don’t know exactly what they are called.

      That being said, I have worked as a phlebotomist in a hospital. At times I would use a regular syringe and needle for blood draws. Sometimes the vacutainer uses too much suction for small, fragile veins. Especially on older folks its sometimes the best method.

    • My original comment must be stuck in moderation. Sorry if there’s a repeat comment.

      I am a nurse, and used to work as a phlebotomist in a hospital. Sometimes I would use an actual syringe and needle for blood draws. Lots of time the VacuTainer system would create too much suction and collapse fragile veins. I used them a lot on older folks in the ICU, especially when they had a really low blood pressure to begin with, the syringe could be controlled well enough to not collapse the veins.

      But never did I try to do it with a sleeping person. That’s just crazy! Even if a person was in a coma, I would introduce myself and tell them what I was doing. (“I’m here to draw blood for your potassium level/antibiotic level/whatever. Ok, I’m going to clean your arm with the cold wet swab… and explain the whole thing).

      • Thank you for your compassion with coma patients! When my mother in law had Locked-In Syndrome, it always made me so angry that many of the drs and nurses would treat her like a piece of meat just because she couldn’t talk…fully aware, but couldn’t talk. Seeing things like you do really restore my faith in the medical community! :)

    • Drawing blood with a syringe is less common now, but it still has its place, especially when drawing from people with small and/or fragile veins. Vacutainers are generally preferred, but syringes give better control. When I trained in phlebotomy a couple of years ago, I needed to get 100 vacutainer draws and 20 syringe draws to complete the course.

      Of course, in that phlebotomy course, my instructors emphasized the importance of waking people up before drawing their blood, when at all possible (the exceptions being comatose patients). Not only is consent of utmost importance, but you don’t want to risk injury to the patient or an accidental needle stick injury to the person drawing the blood. I still remember one of my first draws on a patient… 5 am, he was curled up with his girlfriend in the narrow little hospital bed. We not only woke him, but we gently woke his girlfriend too, to make sure no one jerked or startled. Thankfully, she was fine with being an armrest for him while we drew the blood.

  21. “I’m just going to stick something sharp into you while you are sleeping. I don’t care whether you consent and I don’t care to explain what I’m doing. Also, I won’t wake you up with this sharp object because I can do magic! In the dark! :D ”

    Wait till she tries that move on an army vet. Or a needle-phobe. Or somebody who JUUUUUST got to sleep.

    • My husband is an Army vet, with pretty severe ptsd. I’d imagine his reaction to waking up and seeing a nurse standing over ME with a needle would be pretty severe… I can’t even fathom how he’d react if he himself was in that position. Needless to say, we’d have one terrified nurse on our hands after that…

      • That happened in our family, except the nurse had an injection. I have no idea what the needle was full of though.

        My uncle was a vietnam vet and when he came home, about ten months later my cousin was born. Uncle stayed beside his wife the whole time she was in the hospital.(actually, he stayed near his wife any time she was outside their house. My uncle had a bit of an overprotective nature.) A nurse crept in while Auntie was out cold and Uncle was dozing beside her bed. The nurse was about to poke in the needle when my uncle knocked her down. As in tackled her with what my AZunt described as a “Demon’s Scream” I have no idea how they got him off the nurse, this happened WAAAYT before I was born.

        The hospital tried to throw a fit but my grandfather was a(well, the. Its a small town) judge so they dropped it. I bet no nurse tried sneaking up on Auntie again.

  22. I am phobic of the thing in the dark that is trying to kill me.

    This would not have gone over well.

    I would be thinking Angel Of Death situation.

    You Don’t Do This.

  23. There are so many things wrong with this.
    1. Patient consent was not obtained for a non emergency procedure.
    2. How well is s/he going to be able to perform said procedure in the dark.
    3. How is the mother supposed to know that this person is a hospital employee in the dark. What if she thought upon taking that she was being attacked? She would be well within her rights to defend herself.
    4. The thought of somebody doing something unwanted to me in my asleep scares the living crap out of me. I most assuredly would NOT have slept through it.

  24. I used to work nights in my previous units and 2am lab draws were a part of life. The doctors wanted the most recent results they could get for their patients when they came in for morning rounds in order to make the most accurate care plan adjustments. Most of us would explain to our patients BEFORE bedtime when to expect labs, meds, or vital signs checks. We would group things together as much as we possibly could to reduce the need to wake our patients, and (if they were alert and oriented) work with their preferences on whether or not to wake them in the night. Many of my patients told me that if I could do what I needed without waking them it was just fine with them, some preferred to be alerted first. If I couldn’t see to do a procedure safely I’d wake them and let them know I needed to turn on a brighter light (but often the bathroom light was enough). Because of this, generally, our patients preferred the nurses and floor techs to do most of their night care. It drove them and us crazy when the phlebotomists or doctors would go into their rooms, because the would usually just bang the door open and flip on the overhead light like it was nothing (and far too many of them would waltz out again leaving the lights blazing and the patient’s bed up in the air – ARG!)

    All that to say, I’m really sorry this nurse scared the OP. She should have discussed it with her before bedtime rather than assumed it would be ok. It was thoughtless (and her response sounds defensive), but not likely intended to be creepy or malicious.

  25. I used to work nights in my previous units and 2am lab draws were a part of life. The doctors wanted the most recent results they could get for their patients when they came in for morning rounds in order to make the most accurate care plan adjustments.

    Most of us would explain to our patients before bedtime when to expect labs, medications, or vital signs checks. We would group things together as much as we possibly could to reduce the need to wake our patients, and (if they were alert and oriented) work with their preferences on whether or not to wake them in the night. Many of my patients told me that if I could do what I needed without waking them it was just fine with them, some preferred to be alerted first. If I couldn’t see to do a procedure safely I’d wake them and let them know I needed to turn on a brighter light (but often the bathroom light was enough).
    Because of this, generally, our patients preferred the nurses and floor techs to do most of their night care. It drove them and us crazy when the phlebotomists or doctors would go into their rooms, because the would usually just bang the door open and flip on the overhead light like it was nothing (and far too many of them would waltz out again leaving the lights blazing and the patient’s bed up in the air – ARG!)

    All that to say, I’m really sorry this nurse scared the OP. She should have discussed it with her before bedtime rather than assumed it would be OK. It was thoughtless (and her response sounds defensive), but not likely intended to be creepy or malicious.

  26. And that comment is supposed to somehow make the fact that you were going to poke me with a needle without my consent and while I was asleep BETTER?

    Hint: it makes it much, much worse.

  27. I’m not saying what the nurse was the best decision. However, as a nurse myself, I’m guessing she was trying to get blood from a heplock, and not trying to stick her. I worked the night shift in a med surg unit and I dreaded the 4 am blood draws. But I had to do my job. The doctors rounded in the morning and would get ugly with us if they weren’t done, on the other hand, a lot of patients would be just as ugly, yelling at us for waking them up. At the beginning of my shift, I’d give patients the heads up and asked them if it would be okay to draw the blood while they were asleep, no sticking required. A lot of them said yes.

    • See that would have been totally fine. That way someone who prefers to be woken up (for whatever reason) doesn’t have this experience, and those who are fine with the sleeping draw, ditto. And then if the sleeping people wake up, the nurse can just say “Sorry to wake you up, I’m just here to do the blood draw like we talked about, no needle involved.”

    • That’s an excellent solution!

  28. Something very similar happened to me two years ago when I was admitted to the Hospital for dehydration. I woke early in the morning to the woman from the lab leaning over me prepping my arm for a blood draw. I am afraid of needles so immediately pulled back. She stopped what she was doing and began talking to me ect.. well turns out she had the WRONG person. She was supposed to be in the next room over.

    I was horrified.

  29. This is mine, too. They were drawing blood because I had an induction, but my IV pulled out of my arm while I was pushing so they couldn’t administer the last of the pitocin or the medicine to keep me from hemorrhaging without putting it back in. Since I have a HUGE fear of needles, my midwife decided they would just monitor me and take my blood after 12 hours instead of putting the heplock in, etc. the nurse had a very long needle attached to one of those hose this that fed into a vial, sorry, I’m not a medical professional. Lol. But anyways, she was standing next to my bed literally getting ready to push it into the crook of my arm. I woke up because I felt like there was someone in the room and rolled over to come face to face with her. I screamed and asked her what she was doing and she responded with this gem.

    • What I love most about this quote is that she says “I would have been done before you even noticed” *after* you had already noticed. Meaning no, she wouldn’t have been done before you even noticed because she didn’t even get to start before you noticed.

      What she was really saying is, “I’d have been done before you noticed — if only you hadn’t noticed.”

      Your midwife sounds really nice, though. :-)

  30. I’d like to ask a question about a related issue.

    Let me start out by saying that I have a good relationship with my doctor. He’s a resident. He seems to take my questions and concerns seriously. He made me really happy the other day when I told him on the phone that I’d just gotten a positive pregnancy test. He said, “I’m delivering this month, and I just talked to a midwife, and you are going to have your doula and we are going to do this right!” (I had previously told him that I wanted a NCB and asked him about hiring a doula.)

    I asked for a blood test to confirm pregnancy, and he said that he put in the order for that. When I did the blood test, I was a little shocked that the nurse took three vials of blood. “They really need all that blood just for one pregnancy test?” I thought.

    I just now noticed that the lab didn’t just take blood for a beta HCG quantity. They also took blood for a CBC, T4, and TSH test.

    Is it routine for labs to draw blood for these other tests when a blood pregnancy test is requested? Since all I had asked for was confirmation of pregnancy, shouldn’t my doctor have asked for permission before ordering these other tests? I would have consented; it just bothers me that I wasn’t informed.

    • Seems like he (or office staff) ordered a New OB panel, just as a routine/habit. They test for TSH and T4 to make sure your thyroid is working well – if not you can have a higher risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Better to catch it earlier to try to prevent complications. The CBC was to check for lots of stuff, like hemoglobin levels. I wouldn’t be upset at not consenting for all those. It’s part of lots of routine New OB panels.

  31. Oh in that case blindly stab away…

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