I am a new nurse.I am being offered a case as a clinical trial nurse.I am very excited, I have done reshearch trials before and I love the whole feild.I am very comfortable drawing blood venously but I will be working with SN infusions and drwing blood from portacaths.I only did this once with my instructer in my clinicals. Will anyone share their knowlegde of the correct procedures and safetly precausions ect. on SN infusions and drawing blood from portacaths.
Thank you very much ,
Mar 18, '07
Portacaths are pretty easy to work with, as long as they're cared for properly. When accessing them you need to use a special non-coring Huber needle. There's more than one size and length of needle so it's important to know which size is recommended. This needle is at 90 degrees to the hub, so it goes right into the centre of the port. You can feel the port under the skin, usually on the upper chest just below the clavicle. You palpate for the edges, cleanse the skin well, let the cleanser dry, then aim the needle right at the centre of the port perpendicular to the skin. When it's inserted in the right spot there's a little click and the needle is quite secure. It sits quite flush with the skin too. The extension tubing is about 4 inches long and can be taped down for more security. You can draw blood from them, and give meds or fluids as with any other central line. The skin becomes less sensitive to the pokes over time and after awhile they only feel a little pressure. I really like them because they're completely implanted, so the risk of infection is much lower and care is much simpler. They need to be heparinized between uses, with whatever your facility's policy indicates. I wish we'd use more ports, rather than tunneled long-term central lines, if only for the safety angle. Of course, removing them is a bit more complicated than pulling a Broviac and means a trip to the OR, and they do become infected as can any central line. Doesn't mean I can't love em!
Mar 18, '07
Thank you so much. That was very informitive and will be a big help.