I am in a front-loaded program and will be starting full-time clinicals in August (thank goodness), but this semester we have had several "observation days." During my last obs day I was with one of my professors who asked me to go ahead and start a peripheral IV on our patient. Well, imagine my surprise when I got reamed a new one for not numbing the patient with lidocaine beforehand. Now, I have been an ER nurse for two years and have started a million IV's and I have never numbed a patient (with the exception of children) before starting an IV. My professor said to me, "We are in the profession of preventing pain, why would you not numb the patient first?" Is numbing the IV site beforehand common practice everywhere or is my professor just being overly anal-retentive? Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks!!!
Where I work, in surgery, we start all IV's (except peds) w/local- (anesthesia does too)- it is our policy & has been for as long as I've been there- over 15 yrs. We used to use Lidocaine w/Bicarb mixed by pharmacy- the small amt of bicarb in the lido was supposed to help the burn- we now use buffered lido. We are all expected to do it, & patients love it b/c they don't feel the IV stick. We use a small guage needle (insulin syringe) so it's not like a 20g or 18g needlestick & more comfortable for the patient, esp. if you have any problems getting the vein. However, I do sometimes float to ER also, and they don't use the local. (also, we don't use the local if a 22g IV is used- like for local cases or endo). If I'm the patient having surgery, I'd want the local- most don't even feel the injection.
Last edit by penguin2 on Apr 10, '06