Taking the sting out of a stick
Ask any nurse and they'll tell you needles are a big fear for many patients - the mere thought of them can cause heart palpitations, fainting and nausea.
"It's a phobia that can hit anyone," says Helen Kelly, a nurse in the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency at North York General Hospital. "I've seen some of the toughest-looking patients go white when they see a needle."
Helen, a 14-year veteran of the Emergency Department (ED), takes great pride in being able to find the flattest, smallest and trickiest of veins. "Because I know needles can cause so much upset, I focus very hard on getting them inserted properly the very first time," she says. "There are situations, however, such as with severely dehydrated and constricted veins, when it's nearly impossible to get it in one shot."