This morning I had a fight with a phlebotomist. They’re the people who take your blood. So I go down to the blood people on days when I’m starting chemo to get everything tested to see if I’m ok to start.
It was a lady I hadn’t seen before. She got everything out to take the blood and then screwed off the valve on the end of my picc line. I had come across people trying to do this before when they were new or were used to different types of lines and thought there was a stopper on the end. I know that some of the people down in the blood place were also quite new to picc lines, once I was someone’s first try. So I was like ‘oh, you leave that on’, just trying to help.
She got so angry at me, telling me it has to come off and that it’s policy and everyone takes it off. She even tried to tell me they often change the valve every time (also not true) I was like ‘ok well no one ever has before’.
She took the blood fine with it screwed off, so obviously it wasn’t a problem, I didn’t know it was possible to do it like that because clearly no one had tried before. So no bother, I just let her get on and do her thing.
At the end as she was screwing it back on she said ‘see? Now there’s no blood in the end’.
I said there’s never usually blood in the end anyway because you flush it through afterwards. She then went back to shouting at me about how she knows what she’s doing, everyone does it the same and I’ve clearly just never bothered paying attention.
I quietly told her that I’d been dealing with this for 6 months, and it’s obviously fine she did it that way, she’s shown me that it’s possible so I’m not bothered, but she can’t tell me it’s the way it’s always been done because it really never has. I mean I was almost tempted to get her to ask one of my usual girls who I could hear chatting in another bay but I didn’t want a fight.
Bit of a pointless argument really. I said thanks as I left and she ignored me entirely. So I said thanks again and said ‘am I all good to go?’ And she barked ‘yes that’s all’ at me.
Pretty much the first time in the whole 6 months I have come across someone not being lovely so I can’t complain. It was all very weird. Not sure what was bothering her so much…
Turns out she lost one of my blood samples too and I had to have it taken again later in Ambicare… I told them about her and they thought she was mad.