NASHVILLE, TN – Warned ahead of time that the patient was a notoriously difficult stick, madly-skilled phlebotomist Mattie Stevenson pulled off a neat little trick and successfully drew blood from the patient’s ascending aorta.
“I trust the nurses and my peers and if they say he’s a hard stick, I believe them,” Stevenson told Gomerblog. She pointed to the patient’s numerous bruises over his hands and arms, evidence of multiple prior failed attempts. “As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Watch and learn.”
Cool as a cucumber, Stevenson grabbed two extra-large tourniquets and wrapped one around the patient’s neck, the other around the lower abdomen. Quickly and precisely, she inserted a jumbo butterfly needle with an overhand stabbing motion into the patient’s sternum and quickly got blood return. In just under a minute’s time, she had obtained a critically-needed set of labs including CBC, CMP, and troponin. She undid the tourniquet. She held gauze over the sternum for 30 seconds before placing a Band-Aid and further securing it with tape. So impressive and professional was Stevenson that the patient had fallen back asleep during the aortic stick.
As she backed away from the bedside and turned to leave the room, she winked at both our Gomerblog team and the nursing staff watching from the doorway. She jammed the needle into the sharps container. “Not my first time.”