I saw this and knew there'd be a quick, "But I really AM a hard stick."
You know what? Saying it's not helpful. If for no other reason than EVERYONE says it.
If you have *helpful* advice, fine. And you've been a patient enough to have helpful advice. I'm actually a pretty easy stick. But one time it took EIGHT tries. I was severely dehydrated and I was at an urgent care that doesn't start them as often as others. So I could go around saying, "I'm a hard stick, it took them eight tries once to get an IV in me!"
We get parents telling us, 'It took them 17 tries in the ED." And I think to myself, "When you're kid had just been admitted for dehydration?"
People also count EVERY stick as an IV stick. Labs drawn before the IV? We're already at two sticks. An LP? Now we're at 3 sticks. A phelbotomist walked by the room and glanced in that direction? That's 4! The person on the next stretcher got an IV? Well you're at 5!
Oh, and the, "You'll have to use a butterfly." WTH? Someone said that to me, so I luckily had a 20 ga butterful that I chose to use instead of the 22 ga I was going to stick them with. I wished I could tell them what an idiot they were that all they did was get me to use a bigger needle.
If I can get it as out of practice as I am (cut my hours for school and have had an IV team available that I make use of when I can, so I'm on a run of about one every 3 months), then you ain't that hard of a stick.
I think there should be a rule: If you utter the words "I'm a hard stick" then you go straight to getting an IO. After all, if you're really a hard stick....