Quick PHAs exceed expectations

I could feel myself starting to sweat. I was sitting down on the chair, left arm extended on the table, blue rubber band thing was tied around my left bicep. She kept analyzing my vein, pressing on it to see if it was a good vein.

She was very meticulous, wiping the alcohol on the spot and pressing on the vein again. I swear she analyzed that sucker for a solid two minutes.

Meanwhile, I continued to sweat! I hate needles. I’m good if it’s quick and I can look away, but this was taking just a bit too long for my liking.

Then, she called her supervisor over. “Is this one too deep?”

“Nope, that’s the one I’d go for” was the response.

Now my heartbeat sped up. Why didn’t he just do it and show her how? Why didn’t he end my misery?

She grabbed the needle. I turned my head away, and braced myself.

And then I felt it. What I thought would turn into a situation where I’d be bleeding everywhere and would need an experienced SABC (Self-aid Buddy Care) Airman to apply a tourniquet, turned into the BEST blood draw I’ve ever experienced in my life. I barely even felt the needle at all, and she was extremely careful when she switched out one tube of blood for the next empty tube.


I later found out she actually belongs to the CERFP unit on base, and rarely gets to work on real people.

The “Quick PHAs” that were held on base last weekend gave Airmen who don’t normally work on patients a chance to perfect their skills….and boy did they ever. An annual medical visit that usually takes me anywhere from 30-90 minutes was completed in less than 20!

Here’s my shout out to the Med Group for a job well-done!

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About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.