21. Threat Of Large Needle Cures Unconscious Patient
“When I was a junior medical student without much experience on the wards, a homeless patient came in who was ‘unconscious’. Except, she wasn’t. I mean, obviously wasn’t.
The doctor would hold up her limp arm, position her hand over her head and let go. If she was truly unconscious, her hand would hit her in the face. Somehow, every time he let go of her hand, it would swerve at the last minute and miss her face.
In an effort to rouse her, the doctor loudly asked me to go and get ‘the biggest needle you can find’. When I returned, he asked me if I’d ever taken blood before. I replied that I had not. He said that as Miss X was unconscious, this would be an excellent opportunity for me to have some one-on-one teaching on the subject. He also said that this would ordinarily be extremely painful for someone with such a large needle being used.
Unfortunately, she ‘woke up’ at that point, so I didn’t get to learn how to take blood.”