I’m Now A Pro At IVs, Foleys, & NG Tubes….

assuming my patients meet a few criterion:

  1. Patient is made of plastic.
  2. Patient consists of only the body part I need.
  3. Patient is unable to move. 
  4. Patient is not breathing.

Today we had a workshop, hosted by the Emergency Medicine club, to learn how to place IVs, insert Foley catheters and introduce NG tubes.* Several of the nurses from our ER volunteered to meet us down at the brand-spanking new (very expensive!) SimLife Center and teach us these skills. We would be nothing without nurses who were willing to help us, it’s amazing how little clinically-relevant/procedural skills we learn in the first two years of medical school.

These mannequins are really cool, y’all. Some of them have pupillary reflexes, cry, have blood in their veins, mimic heart murmurs, respond to medications, all kinds of stuff. One of them even gives birth! To a mannequin baby!! 

Ashley – Inserting IV into Severed Arm Man
Me – Inserting Foley Catheter into Truncal Woman

Eva and MS1 I Don’t Know –
Learning to Insert NG Tube
So here are a few tricks of the trade they I learned today:

  1. Feel for veins with the pads of your fingers, not your thumb.
  2. Never pull the catheter out without deflating the balloon or

    your patient will kick you and you will deserve it. 

  3. Get a good grip on the – ahem – apparatus when inserting

    a Foley catheter into a male patient.

  4. Lube….use it….liberally….to prevent angry patients.
  5. Tell your patients what you’re doing….even if they are

    unconscious (or pretending to be uncouscious).

So these aren’t very difficult procedures, but I’m happy we had nice nurses willing to teach us in a non-stressful situation where we couldn’t hurt anyone. 

Plus if you stick around long enough, you might even
stumble upon a little blue box full of nice, plastic vaginas.

*For the non-medical geeks people out there: IVs = Thing they stick in your arm at the hospital to make administration of drugs easier, Foley Catheter = Thing that drains your pee, NG tube = Tube through your nose and into your stomach to pump things out or put things in.