I have been reading in a few emerg nursing blogs about abscesses, and having to drain them. Some people apparently hate it, some love it. I am officially in the 2nd category. If you have a weak stomach please don't read!
Tonight we had a 20 yo female in with an abscess from her arm pit for which redness had travelled to midshaft of her humerus. After some IV antibiotics, the doc needed to drain it so that it could heal properly. Being the only nursing student in the Emergency Department makes it easy for me to be remembered when they get to do interesting things. "Hey student" (not Elaine.. they probably dont' remember my name yet) "you want to come and see an I & D?" I say "Of course!!" and then stupidly ask"what's an I&D???"
"Incision and drainage." They snicker, thinking that I'm going to be grossed out. They don't know me just yet. "WOW COOL" I say in the nursing student way.. and off I go to the room.
The doc was just getting set up, and I helped grab some additional supplies. Finally, she dons the surgical gloves and starts incising. Pools of serosanguinous (pus and blood and goopy stuff) fluid poured out of this girl's arm... most people by this time would be fainting.. I'm thinking this is AWESOME. After a bunch of incisions, even a bit of internal cutting to get all the exudate out, it was over. We cleaned her up, packed the wound (ok ok i didn't but I got to watch) and then sent her home with some pain killers and told her to return tomorrow.
I can't wait to see the next one!