Mitten Hands Strikes Again
November 15, 2012 5:27 PM   Subscribe

When I have to use syringes at my job for blood draws and catheterization I get what I've been calling "mitten hands" and loose fine motor control. Anyone have any tips or tricks for holding/using syringes?

I think this is a mix of nerves and an essential tremor that I self diagnosed/have had my entire life.
posted by OsoMeaty to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To help minimize tremors, make sure you're using adjacent surfaces to stabilize your hands. That is to say, the hand that holds the syringe should have its heel or side along the pinky resting on the patient's skin, whenever possible.

Also make sure you're using the proper hand position for your particular equipment. Some needles have wings or safety tabs or all kinds of extra doohickies hanging off the sides, and it can be hard to figure out the best way to hold them. If you're not used to the models you're using, ask somebody more experienced to show you how they prefer to grip the things.

Also, are you new to this job? I used to get super nervous about giving injections when I first started as a nurse (I used to be terrified of needles), leading to clumsiness and shaky hands. And then fear that my hands would shake and the patient would notice would make me even more nervous, which leads to more tremors... But now that I've done it over and over and over, it doesn't even register as something to worry about, and my hands are back to feeling normal. Maybe you just need more time for your brain to stop freaking out about the needles?
posted by vytae at 6:12 PM on November 15, 2012

If you want something to practice on, I got this for a friend in nursing school. The skin feels pretty lifelike and you can run fluids through a tube in the arm to simulate a blood draw, running an IV, etc.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:16 PM on November 15, 2012

Hold it like a dart, not a pen.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 7:24 PM on November 15, 2012

When I used to do blood draws, I would use my left thumb to pull the skin tight, then I would rest the vacutainer against the back of my thumb to help guide it. Kind of like what you would do with a pool cue. That helped steady my aim.
posted by kamikazegopher at 10:00 AM on November 16, 2012

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