On the weekend that University of Washington students celebrated in caps and gowns, I graduated too. Doctor's orders quit daily blood draws! The new schedule is three times per week blood draws in the lab. Clinic consults with tan team doctors reduced from twice a week to once a week.
Graduation means I am now responsible for flushing my double lumen. The Hickman line needs to be flushed every day. Those days I am not in the lab for blood draws, I flush the line. Saturday morning, Kathy and I went into the clinic for training. Though I have watched nurse after nurse complete the procedure multi-times each day, when it was my turn, I became so intent that I broke a sweat and felt exhausted when done. The directions need to become front-line, not second nature, memorized. For months, I have protected my line, never sleeping on my stomach, watching that buttons and zippers don't tug nor tangle. Now, I am entrusted to care for my line in new ways:
Remove syringe from packages by peeling the paper downward.
The syringe of saline solution will have 10 cc of solution and the heparin lock flush solution will have 5cc of solution.
Vigorously scrub the top of the clave cap with an alcohol wipe.
Hold the syringe with the cap on facing towards the ceiling and remove the cap of syringe. Carefully remove the air bubble by gently pushing the plunger slightly.
Insert the syringe into the center of the clave cap by pushing in and turning toward the right.
Unclamp the catheter
Push the plunger with alternating pressure and release (starting and stopping to create turbulence) on the syringe to inject the fluid into the catheter. This keeps the catheter clean. Don't empty the flush syringe. Always leave 1/2 cc in the syringe of normal saline. Leave 2cc in the syringe of heparin lock solution.
Clamp the catheter while injecting the fluids
Remove the syringe. Discard in regular garbage can.
Repeat steps on the other line.
Notice how graduates throw their caps into the air when the deed is done. I celebrated my graduation to flushing my own lines by taking one of the saline syringes and pushing the plunger to make a squirt gun of fluid all the way over the balcony into mid-air.
3 months ago