I tend to get nervous taking care of other nurses. I think that's natural. I usually will tell them at the beginning of the shift that, although I am aware of the fact that they are nurses, I encourage them to "accept the patient role" and to try not to be a nurse while they are sick.
So when I hang the IV, I tell them what it's for. I go over new medications. The whole bit. And I encourage my nurses to do the same when they are assigned a nurse as a patient (the same with physicians as patients).
Sometimes that's enough; often it is not. Then it's the "hey, you are my patient right now, not my colleague" discussion.
The last night I worked, I got a call asking me to start an IV. It was one of our co-workers (not on our floor but works in our hospital). Everyone was giggling when I arrived, because the patient was our IV nurse. He's the one we always call when we just can't get the IV started. He's backed me up on countless occasions.
Two nurses had already tried, and they both suffered a terrible case of "performance anxiety," worsened now that two attempts had ended in failure.
As I was getting ready to Throw the Dart, he was constantly palpating his own veins, and telling me the various techniques he uses on tough sticks (he likes to omit the tourniquet, and he likes to advance the needle within the IV catheter rather than getting a flash and advancing the catheter off the needle). I calmly told him he needed to just lie there and let me Throw the Damn Dart and get the IV (and I pretty much always use the tourniquet, and I will end up going through the vein if I try to advance with the needle).
And I smacked his hand as he reached into my IV tray to help set up.
And yes, I thought I'd have to shave part of his arm.
And yes, I would flush with lots of saline.
And yes, I'd go for an 18 guage instead of my usual 20.
After it was done, my Dart hitting the mark, as I taped his dressing, he thanked me for a fairly painless stab..
... and when he thought my back was turned, repositioned the tape on the dressing... just so...
I admit that it's hard to accept the patient role when you're in the business. A few years ago, when I was admitted to have my gall bladder removed, it took 9 attempts to start my IV. Lab draws often took two attempts, and I was getting drawn a couple of times a day. It was hard to just lie there. Surprisingly, I found out a few nurses were too nervous to take me as an assignment (one later admitted she was mortified at the thought of having to give me a shot in my butt).
And I gotta admit -- I lifted the tape on my dressing too... so it would lay... just so...