“You need someone to advocate for you” – Ron Noecker’s story

Ron Noecker is an oncology nurse, currently living in Antigua, Guatemala. Here he shares his concern for injection safety as a patient and as a nurse.


Hello, my name is Ron Noecker. I’m a radiation oncology nurse and I have a little story to tell you that made me aware of how important it is to be aware of injection safety practices.

Actually I was with the McKnights and HONOReform advocating on Capitol Hill. That evening I went home and did some dishes in my sink. One of the glasses was quite sheer and it broke and cut my finger. There was alot of blood and I needed stitches. With the help of a neighbor I went to the local emergency room.

I was amazed when I finally got to the resident physician and he was stitching me up how much more sensitive I was to the importance of injection safety because of the advocacy training that we were doing on Capitol Hill.

I realized how important that was as I watched him draw up the lidocaine injection to deaden the area around the wound. I watched him carefully as he injected the needle into the single dose vial. I watched that all very carefully, even in the midst of my trauma.

When you are experiencing a difficulty, thinking about injection safety is something you are distracted from because you are concerned about your wound. Even as a nurse, I was aware of my wound more than monitoring carefully whether the dose of lidocaine was injected properly and sterilely.

This is one of the reasons I think it is so important that HONOReform is doing the work that it is. To help make people aware and to consider different ways that you can protect yourself in that kind of a situation.

You need someone to advocate for you and when you are alone in that situation how much more we trust that there are regulations guiding the practioner to know exactly how to keep the patient safe.

I was glad that night that the resident was following safe injection practices and that he used a single dose vial of lidocaine. I hope that after he completed his work all of that was disposed of properly.

From my personal experience, I realized that the work of HONOReform to promote regulations that provide safety to patients is very important.

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