I hate getting my blood drawn. Like, it’s a totally irrational, intense fear. When the nurse went to put in my IV before I got my wisdom teeth pulled, I cried. Like a bitch. And made her stop. I don’t understand why I have this fear, but I do.
I calculated this evening that I’ve probably drawn blood over 8,700 times on animals in the last 11 years. Sticking needles in other things is totally not a problem with me and I’m really good at it. Having needles stuck in me – big problem.
So my first day of Phlebotomy school, I sit down, and when class starts the instructor starts going over the syllabus. I, of course, start reading ahead. I get down to: WEEK ONE LAB – PRACTICE VENIPUNCTURE ON STUDENT PARTNER. I immediately start to panic. I knew this was going to happen but not so soon. I start sweating. The first 3 hours of the class is the lecture component, we go on break, and when we come back the classroom turns into a lab. When we got back from break and the teacher started showing us everything in the lab that we’d be using, I felt like I was going to pass out. I felt really hot and light-headed. I had to look away. My fear was so intense that I almost told the teacher that I wasn’t sure if I could do this. But I knew I couldn’t do that. Surprisingly, the drive I have to get out of my current place of employment and provide better for my little family, far outweighs this stupid needle fear.
So the teacher asks for a volunteer. The girl who’s been bragging the entire class about how hard her veins are to hit, offers to go first so the teacher could show us, on her, what to do. The instructor can’t hit her vein. And she went fishing for it too, man. And she’s a Phlebotomist for a living! Nothing. The whole class is like GREAT. Because the final practical is the teacher puts all of our names into a hat, pulls two out, and says you two draw blood on each other. If you don’t get blood, you fail.
The teacher asks for another volunteer and this time she got blood on another girl. Then she talks for like 10 minutes and while she’s talking I’m not hearing a damn word she’s saying. I’m just psyching myself up to go sit in that chair. So I go. I throw my arm out and close my eyes and say “Do it. Hurry up. Get it over with.” The instructor asks the class who’d like to poke me, and horrible veins girl volunteers. She puts the garbage can in front of me because it apparently looked like I was going to vomit. I apologized to the class that I had been sweating for the last three hours and that I probably smelled. I asked another girl in the class who I’ve never met before in my life to come over and hold my hand. Jeez.
So shitty veins, cocky girl pokes me and can’t hit my fucking vein. Great. The instructor calmly but forcefully told her to take the needle out of my arm. I think she knew that if homegirl had gone fishin’ for my vein, I would’ve flipped. So that was it. It was over. I felt so relieved but I was still shaking. I lived.
The teacher let a few more people go before it was my turn to draw blood. She wanted to give me some time to relax. So, since Bad Veins poked me, it was my turn to poke her. I was really ok with it and actually kind of excited because I love a challenge. First stick I get blood. BOOM!
That is all. Thank you.