Downtime

After a hectic couple of weeks working at a local vaccination ‘super clinic’, things have throttled back to lockdown life once more.

It seems that they have on-boarded a bunch of undergraduate nurses to assist with the vaccination program, and I’m not exactly sure how much my services will be required from this point on. We shall see.

It has been a pleasure to work at the vaccination clinic (a converted stadium at the Australian Institute of Sport). The whole thing is a slick operation, well-designed and supported. Currently, they are jabbing around 2,500 people a day (give or take a couple of hundred).

Vaccination booths and ‘recovery’ seating.
Vaccination booths and ‘recovery’ seating.

The nursing process itself is one of low stress, repetitive routine. It takes me between 3-5 minutes to ask the relevant questions, ensure an informed consent and administer the vaccine. A great opportunity to practice now-fullness, giving full attention to each situation.

‘Pharmacy’ area on right, were vaccines are drawn up.
‘Pharmacy’ area on right, were vaccines are drawn up.

I have also become a little obsessed with the quest to deliver a jibby jab with the least amount of discomfort. There are lots of theories about the best technique to deliver an intramuscular deltoid injection.

You can insert the needle quickly…pop. Or more slowly…Pfissh.

You can push the plunger straight in, bzzip.
Or smoothly over 3-4 seconds….bzzzzzzsh.

Some swear by gently tapping on the deltoid with a finger as you deliver the injection to confound & confuse the pain receptors.

After trying all these variations and seeking feedback from the people at the pointy end, after hundreds of jibby jabs all I can report is that there seems to be no ‘best shot’.

I can vaccinate two separate people in exactly the same way and one will swear they never even felt a thing, and the other will visibly flinch (mind you, even then most say the pain is less than 3/10).

Looks like any chance of getting my study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and becoming a world-acclaimed expert on jibby jabs touring the lecture circuits and making big bucks endorsing sketchy medical products will be slim. To none.

So that’s about it. As I said up top, I don’t have any more shifts right now (I’m on a casual contract), and as we remain in lockdown, its all about housework, walking the dog, reading and Netflix. Rinse and repeat.
Such is the COVID life.

Ian Miller

5 thoughts on “Downtime

  1. It does concern me somewhat that the preference is for a predominantly undergraduate workforce. Much cheaper I’m sure. I hope they are well supported, mentored and not blamed when mistakes happen.

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  2. Well done your talents would be appreciated by most of the recipients. Shame you’re not needed any more especially as a mentor?

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  3. I was Jabbed by a New Graduate and it was too high and hurt like shi……Not Happy…..the Govt.are fools to think just ‘Anyone’ can give an IM…..I for one am not impressed….pleased to say my next Injection was given by an experienced Primary Health Nurse….

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