Self-cannulation training

I will begin self-cannulation training this week. Finally found a nurse who is confident to train me. I’ve asked every competent nurse I’ve ever had to train me, but no one was eager until this one. Not all nurses are comfortable in this dept. This one is very positive about it and she is ready to get it going. I can’t wait! And, of course, I’ll have a head start in preparation for home training which will flollow.


I learnt to self cannulate at the age of 10, had three transplants, lost my memory & the skill to do it, then on transfering to a unit where I didn’t trust the staff, suddenly deciced, HEY I can do it, I’ve done this before, & I’ve been doing it for nearly 8 weeks now, in my orginal fistula!

It;s a real self confidence booster!!

Celebrate, pop a bottle of champas!

Conratulations Jane, way to go. You will take to it like a duck to water! And did you say you are going to then start home training finally? 8)

That IS terrific news. I can’t remember – do you have a fistula or a graft? I hope you can learn the buttonhole technique if you have a fistula. I’ve heard that clinics are actually starting to use this with in-center patients who have fistulas now.

Jane, that’s great news. Good for you for sticking with it until you found someone who could help. Let us know how it goes!

Same here, congrats to you! 8) …Keep us updated on this…

Hi everyone!
Thanks for all the good wishes for success with self-cannulation and I’m happy to report all is going well…VERY well!! The nurse who trained me was key. She was very upbeat about the whole thing, and having an encouraging nurse like that, was all I needed to launch out.

To prepare for the adventure, I first began by observing the sticking process each time staff put me on. Previously, I had not looked as I was a needle weenie thus had no desire to see the needle going in. But now that I had a nurse to support me in learning how to put my own needles in, it was a different story and I was able to muster the courage to get involved with the process.

I had been totally convinced from the reports of other self-stickers that self-sticking was doable and in my best interests to get training. I am happy to report that I picked up the skill quickly thanks to the positive reinforcement of my nurse trainer. The first few attempts were a little off as far as the angle, but I quickly caught on and began placing the needles with eaze each tx.

Self-sticking really is as easy as everyone says, assuming one does not have a tricky access and possesses enough dexterity to guide the needles in. With this experience, I just have one regret- that I didn’t get this training from THE FIRST DAY OF DIALYSIS!!! It is very empowering to stick one’s own needles, because it means no more unnecessary pain/discomfort, misses/infiltraions, no more fear of something going wrong- the control is placed back in the patient’s hands where it belongs. When one self-sticks, he can feel exactly where the needle is at all times and gently guide it where he wants it to go.

In conlusion, I can’t thank my nurse trainer enough for having the gumption to teach me this essential skill. It is curious to me that not a single other nurse I’ve had, and I’ve had many, would attempt it. It only took one nurse to get behind me and now I feel so empowered and have gone to a whole new level in my care. Next comes buttonhole training -stay tuned :smiley:

Jane, glad it’s working out for you:) It is a real confidence booster, isn’t it.

Theres one guy at my unit, & I;m pretty sure he’s going to have a go soon, under the supervision of one of the nurses.

At my main unit, several nurses are trained to teach self needling.


Congratulations! We knew you could do it.

Now that your nurse has trained you, what do the other staff think? Is she going to train other patients at your clinic? Maybe if others learned how empowering sticking yourself can be, they might consider home hemodialysis or at least doing their own sticks in-center. I suspect if more patients did their own needle sticks we could grow home dialysis faster, save more dialysis accesses, and reduce the patient-provider conflict in dialysis clinics.

Jane, you rock!. You should be so proud of yourself. That’s a big step–even getting up the courage to watch is a big deal. Thanks for sharing such awesome news with us. :smiley: