Counting basics #2- needles

Continuing on to the next item in a “soft” goods count, needles.

Needles come in many different iterations.

There are sharp needles.

There are even dull needles that we use to access and filter the fluid in a vial that you break open. Yes, those exist, always take precautions. The glass shards can end up in the medication and then injected.

There are curved needles.

There are straight needles.

There are hollow needles; those are called hypodermics and a way to inject medications into the human body.

There are port access needles that are used to access surgical ports. There are different reasons that patients have these; sometimes chemo related, sometimes accessed for surgery because there are no usable veins. If they are on the back table because the port is put in during surgery, it is countable.

There are angiocaths that are used to start IVs. Sometimes we use the soft IV plastic, and not the sharp needle, especially in irrigating in a delicate area. Yes, they are on the field and are countable. Both parts must be counted, the sharp pointy part and the soft plastic.

In short, if it is on the field, it is counted.

Especially if it is sharp and can hurt patients, or people who get randomly stuck because they are bagging the trash and cleaning the room and someone left a needle on a hypo.

Don’t do that.

In the OR, our driving force is safety.

Safety for the patients.

Safety for the surgeons.

Safety for the OR staff.

Safety for the cleaners.

Police your sharps (that means keep an eye on them and dispose in a puncture-proof container made for them).

And there is the needle book that is used to store the used needles in, on the back table after they are used. So they can be counted. But that is another lesson. Stay with the class now.

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