abby_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title Pincushion
Synopsis A talk between a combat nurse and fledgling EMT while the latter uses the former for a pincushion.
Date September 16, 2009

The Garden: Main Room

Attempt number three. Today was not Abigails best day in doing this. Megan was Abby's guinea pig and practice dummy. Orange while great for practicing, aren't the real thing. The combat nurses volunteering when she and Abby ended up being in the Garden at the same time, was fate. Maybe.

The blonde winced as yet again she just didn't manage to hit the vein necessary and there was another little puncture hole added to Megan's growing collection. "Ohhh blank. I'm going to fail this. Whats the point of being an EMT if you can't even set up a line. Bad enough I just don't like them in the first place" Her latex garbed hands pull back enough to slap a cotton ball on back of the red heads palm and look up at her. "Lord on high Megan i'm so sorry. I'm just being a dunce. I should be able to get it"

There's a wince at the jab, but the older woman just chuckles at Abby. "Let me tell you something. Putting in an IV is both as simple and as difficult as anything you'll ever do, Abby. The only thing that will fix it is practice, practice, practice." Megan reaches over and takes the cotton ball away, glancing at her hand absently. It's going to be a mass of purple blotches, but eh… what the hell. "Doing it in a moving vehicle is going to be even more challenging than this, but once you get the feel for what you're looking for, you're going to be fine," she counsels. And then she considers. "So tell me something - is the back of the hand location something that your instructors are requiring for the course, or did they give you a list of places to work with and this is the one you find hardest?" She gestures to the back of her hand as she holds it out and spreads her fingers to point to the places Abby's working with. "For most people, the back of the hand will be the absolute worst place to put an IV unless they're stationary in a bed," she explains. "There's a nerve cluster here, and if you hit that, they're going to come up off the gurney like you poked 'em in the ass with a hot poker, and the flesh is so thin here that doing it there on the run is far more complicated than it's worth for an emergency situation."

"Cause it's the hardest" The younger woman confirms. "and on the list" She knew about the nerve cluster and had been working hard to avoid it on Megan. "Lord the bus better have good shocks. I can do the inner arm nooo problem. But we have to learn to do it everywhere because you never know the state of the patient when you come across them and might not have access to the normal points of entry" Spoken as if by rote, read off the page. "Though I should give your poor hand a break before I make it unusable" The tourniquet around Megan's wrist is released and Abby sits back, flexing her hands. "Four months. Right. I'm going to need like two years to get this all"

Megan smiles. "No… you won't." She holds out her hand, flexes it, and says, "Do it one more time. And this time, don't use the tourniquet." She sets her hand out and tells Abby quietly. "Have the needle ready." She waits until Abby's ready to try once more, and then she says quietly as she lays her hand slack on her leg, as it would be if she were unconscious. "Put your hand on mine and close your eyes. Don't look for the vein, feel it. Use your fingertips the same way a Braille reader would," she coaches quietly. "Ever so gently, feel for the bones — you know what the hand's structure is supposed to look like, but veins in the hand are more prone to sliding just a bit because of the motions of the muscles. They roll. Feel for the spaces between the bones, and use your thumb on top and your middle finger beneath in the palm of the hand — just the littlest hint of pressure — to feel the pulse of the vein between my index and middle fingers. When you have that, slide the needle."

Easier said than done" But Megan was the one with experience. So with the advice taken, a few deep breaths she starts over again. Finger fluttering over Megan's hand, looking for what she describes and smiles when she does. A few more breathes later and she's angling the needle in, in and success this time as she's rewarded with that little flash of blood and a wide grin. "Praise the lord". She busies herself then, putting things in order, pushing the catheter in, pressing down as she pops out the needle and starting to hook everything up as she's being taught in her classes.

When all is said and done and there's tape on the back of the woman's hand Abigail leans back again, looking up at Megan to see if she's done it right. Hopefully, she's done it right. "This sure beats practicing on each other. Johan laughs at me when I get so light headed when he stabs me with it" Stabbing being metaphorical and all.

Megan's gaze on the younger woman is approving, and the smile Abby's rewarded with is bright. "Very nicely done," she compliments. "A lot of putting in the IV even in a crisis is sheer instinct, Abby. It's having a cool head when everything else around you is raging out of control — whether with sirens or with gunshots, it really doesn't matter. What matters is your own ability to shunt all of that to the side and listen to the body of the patient." She studies the final product and nods once more, shooting a quick smile. "This Johan of yours — he sounds like a nice guy. Practicing on one another sucks. A lot." She points to two other spots on her arm, one further up just above the nerve cluster, and one in the middle of the forearm between the bones.

"Here and here are usually far better choices if you can't get one into the elbow — not that I disagree you should be able to do the hand one as well, but just as a side note. The veins in the hand are among the smallest in the body, so it's a pain in the ass if you're in motion. Not to mention, the odds of stabbing straight through a patient's hand if you're at high speed and they jerk are pretty high. Another trick that we learned out on the field is that if you've got a clean shot at it and the arms just suck cuz they're flailing? Jab that sucker right into the main vein of the leg, just off the crotch. Usually they're already secured there and they don't seem to struggle as much."

Stuff they don't quite teach in the class she's supposing since combat medic training is likely different from EMT training. Abigail watches, taking in the areas pointed to, reaching out with her own hands to feel for veins that would be appropriate, some needing a bit more prodding before she returns back to her original piece of puncture art to start undoing what she did. Not likely something that she'd do a lot, but Megan couldn't walk away with it all attached to her.

"Johans nice. Strange sense of humor. But he's a good partner." The tape taken off and gauze plucked up then pressed down over the IV gently. Slender fingers deftly pull out the catheter to lay it on the tray that's waiting and she presses gently further on where it had been then tapes it off. "They switch us around every two weeks so we don't get used to the same person, that we won't likely have them at the places we find employment. Mind you, I have the bar so it's not important that I get a job right off the bat"

As she listens, Megan's observing and assessing both Abby's skill and the way she's phrasing herself. A faint smile quirks her lips and she says quietly, "You never know who you'll wind up working with. St. Luke's has a tendency to keep good medic teams together when they can, though there's always a little rotation in the ranks to cover for vacations and family emergencies and such." She considers. "In this town, darlin, you're not going to have any problems getting work," she drawls quietly. The redhead waits until Abby has her entirely unbound and she moves to stand up. "If you need a pincushion, by all means, feel free to ask. Or just come by to talk, if you want. I like keeping my hand in on the training parts. Keeps me busy." Not that the Suresh Center isn't busy, but its medical teams are not so much the busy. "I'm actually considering volunteering part time back in the ER," she admits with a laugh. "I think I have too many hours unaccounted for in my day right now."

"Maybe when I still healed, now… " Abby shrugs her shoulders, starting to clean up and make sure the sharp stuff is in the container labeled for it and not a trace of anything left anywhere. She's decided as well that she's made enough of a pincushion for today out of Megan. There's a scattering of oranges that the nurse watched her practice on first around the table. "Though with the rate of things going to heck the way they are, they just might snatch up the bottom of the classes" Forget that her school supposedly has a 100 percent placement rate for graduating classes.

"I'll stop by the center, easier than getting a boat out here all the time, and see. Maybe take your class. Can't hurt to go to the center. Cat's been pushing me and others have said that it might be a good place to go" Abigail glances down to her watch and cringes. "Lordy, So much to do and not enough time, I need to get back to Mainland"

Megan raises a single brow and comments mildly, "You do realize that's part of the problem, right?" She puts a hand out to pause Abby's shuffle. "You have such faith, Abby…. in everyone but yourself." She squeezes gently. "You have good potential. Steady hands, a great bedside manner, a calm demeanor except when you're frustrated about IV needles," she grins. "Which again just comes with time. Even without an Evo healing ability, I personally find your instincts pretty stellar, and your demeanor is exactly what's necessary for calming a panicking injured person."

"I have faith in myself. When it's.. you know…" Okay, she's going to be quiet as the latex gloves are taken off and stuffed into the bag that goes into the garbage. "I know. I know. Everyone says it. It's just going to take time. Walk me to the docks? Yesterday evening was creepy enough after the talk with the Pastor and I'm still not great on this place"

Patting Abby's arm lightly, Megan nods. "Sure, c'mon… I was heading that way anyway." She grabs her medical bag — which looks a lot like a doctor's bag since much of what she does out here is everything but official prescriptions — and tucks her cell phone into her pocket. Throwing her sweater on over her T-shirt, she walks with Abby out of the building, her eyes absently scanning the sky when she hears a plane's engine. It's something she does without even thinking about it. "So other than stressing yourself out over the IV training… how are things going for you?" she asks the ex-healer quietly as they walk.

Her own backpack is thrown over shoulder and sweater grabbed. There's another graceful shrug of her shoulder. "Things are going, slow and steady. Not bumps or explosions. Wishing my friends would stop giving me condoms. Not like I used them every single night. Blanking condom fairy keeps mysteriously leaving them" Abby shakes her head. "What about you? Hows… things?" It's a known fact the woman lost someone recently and the blonde looks over to the red head.

Megan blinks. Several times. And starts to laugh. "The blanking condom fairy, hrm?" Her chuckles are husky and truly amused. "Well, now… at least you know the blanking condom fairy loves you," she tells the blonde with a wrinkle of her nose. And then she shrugs, her expression going a bit pensive though not overly so. "Things are… going," she admits. "I'm keeping busy. Still putting in volunteer time out at Chicago Air, since the Center is not as time-intensive yet as I need to keep my head from going places it doesn't need to go."

"Blanking. Insert expletive where you hear 'blank' as it's not an appropriate time to use a swear word" Abigail oh so politely informs as they start down the street for the docks. "I guess they do but I mean, come on. I don't need that many" There's a shake of her head and a nod to the red heads words. "Busy hands means busy mind, means that you can not think about things that you are better off not thinking about until it's the appropriate time" She knows that all too well.

"Have you thought about a visit home, a vacation back to wherever you're from as opposed to just.. well.. working all the time. Besides, if you go back to the ER, then you'll certainly have no spare time"

Megan starts to reach into the side pocket of her cargo pants and aborts the move, as if remembering something's not there anymore. She shoves the hand instead into the pocket at her hip as they head for the dock. "Nope," she says finally. "Been a long time since I headed for home to heal, Abby," the older woman tells the younger. "My parents are good people, don't get me wrong. I can go home…. they just don't really understand me much. Four years of college and twenty years in the military kept me away for a long time… I'm not really the person they remember. Got more friends here than I do back there. And I'm more comfortable with them." She shrugs a bit and smiles. "I like the work. It keeps me sane right now."

Maybe it is just her who finds healing at home. "Sane, sane is good. Hey, there's a church down the road from the Garden. You might check it out. There's a pastor there, his name is… " She looks like she wishes she was kidding. "Scotch McCoy. Baptist. Baptist who swears and drinks and dances and he really swears. You're over here a lot can you keep an eye on him? See if he needs a hand now and then. He's trying to do missionary work and show Staten Island they're not forgotten"

Megan mmmms mildly. "A swearin, drinking, dancing Baptist? Never heard of that before," she teases gently. "Sure, I can look in on him. God knows, Abby, the more people helping, the better. I'll hook him up with the food trucks running out of Chicago Air — make him one of their regular stops."

"I'm sure he'd like that. Just tell him Beauchamp sent you, the other singing, dancing baptist" Not swearing and drinking. Abigail smiles before she gestures towards the docks and launches into questions. Medical questions, likely pertaining to her homework that waits and how to do this, best way to approach that, over and over until the boat has been met up with. Megans likely right, she will make a good EMT. Just a matter of getting there, to make her realize it.

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