When I say tattoos, you're probably getting something like this in your head, aren't you?
Well, actually when I say tattoo, I'm referring to something along the lines of this:
Can you see it? No, it's not just an image of skin, there's an actual tattoo there. A tiny dot, no bigger than a freckle. That's what we do in therapy. We tattoo people.
To clarify: In Radiation Therapy, patients come in for treatment, and before they are given any radiation, they have to be scanned and dosimetry has to map out a plan of how the radiation will be delivered. During the simulation process, they receive three tiny tattoos that determine how they are laying. So each time they come back for treatment, we can align the lasers up to those same dots each time and get them in the same position.
Now having that said, let me tell you what you're NOT suppose to do, which of course happens to be what I did last Wednesday... You are not suppose to tattoo the wrong person. That's right, I ACCIDENTLY tattooed the technichian that I was working with at the time. Here's what happened...
The patient had come in for his simulation, we had gotten all our marks, and it was time to tattoo. Being the giddy student, and having practiced on a foam fish all afternoon, I was ready to stick this elderly man with a needle. Well I thought I was doing a good job, but then the tech started giving me a few pointers about how I could do it better, which I appreciated. So, in the process of reaching my needle up for more ink, somehow her hand got in the line of fire and I ended up sticking her hand. WOOPS! Talk about feeling bad! She politely told me it was ok, and we proceeded to finish up the patient and get him out of there. After finishing him up, she had to go fill out an incident report and be tested since it's basically like sharing needles. Needless to say, I felt like a failure all week long.
When Monday rolled around, I honestly didn't want to go to clinicals. I didn't want to face the technician or anyone else in the facility for that matter. But, I had to bite the bullet and go. Thankfully the technician with the permanent tattoo dot on her hand, was super nice to me and so was everyone else. They acted like the whole thing never happened. And then it came time to tattoo another patient... I declined this one. And then another patient came in for his simulation in which tattoos were needed, but this time the tech didn't give me a choice to decline, it was my turn. YIKES! However, I managed to remain calm and somehow give the new patient his tattoos without injuring him or anyone else. What a relief! So hopefully nothing else major will happen in clinic that requires an incident report to be filled out.