Undoubtedly one of the most common things you will see in hospital is a cannula.
Patients routinely have them because they are the quickest and easiest way to recieve fluid and medication should something go wrong.
I volunteered to have the procedure to better understand what it felt like as a patient. Naïvely, I thought it wouldn’t be that different to a blood test or to blood donation. After all, the needle’s a lot smaller.
The HCA put on the tourniquet and began feeling for a vein under the guidance of a nurse. After a suitable one was found, the area was cleaned and the cannula was ready to be inserted.
“It will feel like a sharp scratch …”
I would argue it was more than a sharp scratch. I’m not ashamed to say that it actually hurt.
It hurt sufficiently for me to grimace. This made my pain very obvious to the HCA which then made him feel nervous and unsure. This hesitation only compounded my problem as his hand began shaking vigourously. But the nurse overseeing the procedure guided him and after a few bits of manoeuvring the cannula was inserted.
The pain suprised me not only because I thought I was fine with needles but because it’s such a common procedure.
What I thought would be the least painful procedure actually turned out to be the most uncomfortable. Now when a patient asks me if it will hurt, hopefully I’ll have the insight to know and will understand what causes the least amount of discomfort.
Would you be up for having a procedure to see what it feels like as a patient?
I would encourage you to try and develop more of an insight. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to volunteer yourself for every procedure going but just be mindful of what it might feel like to be the patient, not the nurse.