We are looking still, I think. More candidates slowly appearing. More info, and a review of houses tomorrow.
And I will tell you a story.
No, it's okay. Try again. This woman is terrified of needles. She needed her blood drawn, two tubes, and the nurses at the FP preceptor's office asked her if I could do the blood draw. She didn't hesitate. Of course she can. And she held out her hand for me, readily. It was only after I thanked her that she explained.
I'm terrified of needles, she said to me, smiling bravely, but I want you to be able to learn. Take your time.
Drawing blood, for those who have not tried it - venipuncture, we call it - is not an easy art. I have practiced on computer simulations and with faux arms that leaked red fluid everywhere from thousands of attempts. And it does not prepare one for patients. This was my third, maybe fourth, venipuncture on a human being. I missed. Go ahead, try again. I missed again. And this woman is pale, sheet-white. Try again. Take your time, I'm fine. And the third try failed and I told her I was going to call in the nurse to draw from her other arm.
If you're sure, she says. I'm fine, you can keep trying. You have to learn on somone.
You have to learn on someone. That line comes from the very best patients for students - the ones who will take an extra fifteen minutes, half an hour. The women who will let a total stranger draw a pap smear and do a pelvic. The ones who know I'm only a student and don't bat an eye as I step into a delivery. The ones who grit their teeth and smile and are patient and understanding and tell me, over and over again, it's all right. And I can't thank them enough, O Best Beloved. I do not have the words.
Because I have to learn sometime, somewhere, on someone. And they are willing to let it be them.