As I pull up to the dairy barn ready to put in IV catheters, I knew that it was going to be a good day. The teaching truck pulls up, and my instructor is a clinician I hadn’t ever worked with before, so I didn’t know what to expect. As you would think, cow skin is incredibly thick, and the task wasn’t easy. My two classmates who went before me didn’t have any luck trying to get their catheters firmly in place. For the jugular catheter, breaking down the skin allowed a hole to put the catheter in and then throw into the vein, just like throwing a dart. Now that it was my turn, the teacher was pressuring me to stick it on the first try. With a quick flick of the wrist, I throw the catheter into the vein and I am rewarded with dripping blood coming out of it.
Since my group had taken a while, the next set of students arrived while I was starting my ear vein. Of course, since we still have the cow in a chute, they all gather around me as I’m trying to work. If anyone knows me, I hate having eyes on me, so I wasn’t too pleased. I had no trouble hitting the vein, but threading the catheter in was rather difficult. But with a few words of advice, I was able to thread it all the way in. After cleaning up, my new favorite teacher demanded a high five before I left. As per usual lately, I left lab with a little bit of blood on my hands but very happy.