Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I am not a nurse, but I play one on TV
I had an interesting experience last Friday. We had a big group of my husband's family over and as we were headed in to the restaurant for dinner I noticed my sister-in-law rubbing something on to her son's hand. She was putting some antibiotic ointment on a cat bite that he had received a day or so earlier. His hand was swelling and looking pretty red so she was getting worried that it could be infected. I told her that we had some things at my place that she could use to try and head that off. Neither of us wanted him to need a trip to the doctor.
Back at home my brother-in-law was eager for me to look at and treat his son. His reasoning was that since my mother was a nurse some how that magical nursey knowledge had rubbed off on me. Sadly his logic was seriously flawed in that my mother is not actually a nurse. My sister is a nurse but she became one after I had moved out of the house so none of her knowledge transferred to me by osmosis.
What I had going for me in this situation was years of first aide training, a love of biology and the fact that my son had his heart defect. I used a sterile needle to lance the area that I had left over from Evan's last round of Lovenox injections, which is something that most people do not have just laying around. I knew that puncture wounds were nasty because the bacteria gets pushed into the bottom of the wound and then the skin will often close up over the wound causing boils and other icky things. I had learned all about the fun things that bacteria does in my college biology classes. That is what led me to decide that lancing it would be a good thing. I then doused it with some betadine that I had saved after my rabbit had needed for an open wound that she had developed. My training in first aid is what led me to want to keep it through several moves so that it would be handy for this kind of use.
I have been pondering what I want to do when I grow up. My experiences with Evan and now this have really firmed up my belief that maybe nursing is the way to go for me. All signs have been pointing to Yes lately. I guess now all I have to do is figure out when I will be able to get back to school.
My nephew did fine with the lancing. His hand looked better the next morning and by the time they left late in the afternoon all the redness was gone.