Meditation on Luer Locks and Legos

It All Fits Together (2009) photo: JParadisi
It All Fits Together (2009) photo: JParadisi

     If I’d known I was going to be a nurse, I would have played with Legos more as a child.

     I say this to myself while snapping together the various plastic pieces needed to start an IV: valve cap, connector tubing, luer lock syringe. This tiny medical sculpture will connect to the angiocath once it is successfully introduced into my patient’s vein. On the other end, I connect the infusion tubing dangling from the bag of solution for the patient’s treatment.

     The pieces fit together in such a way to make needles unnecessary. The needless system is a safety measure  preventing staff from poking ourselves with contaminated needles.  On second thought, the system is more like those Habit Trail environments for hamsters, only it’s molecules of blood, medications, and normal saline running through the tubing, instead of a small, furry rodent.

     It’s easy to feel like a hamster running through its Habit Trail on days when the tasks that need to be accomplished are unending.  I remember this while I carefully connect the pieces I need to start an IV one by one, mindful of keeping the ends sterile. I imagine myself stringing beads. I think of a rosary or prayer beads as I make each connection. I focus my thoughts on the task at hand: placing an angiocath into the vein of my patient. I remember to breathe. I am ready to begin.