Best Advice for Successful IV Sticks - page 2

Hi everyone - I know this question has been posted before and I've looked at some of the websites mentioned on advice for IV's but I'm still having trouble with getting successful sticks. ... Read More

  1. by   P_RN
    One other thing. If you have someone who is edematous at where you need to start the IV you can take your thumb and press firmly. The edema will pit at that point and the vein will be palpable/visible. Now of course this is for general edema and not edema from a bad IV.
  2. by   healer27
    Hi everyone, these are great suggestions, I really appreciate this - I feel ready to try to have some SUCCESSFUL Sticks at this point, LOL! Keep the suggestions coming..
  3. by   ArmyMSN
    Try to get the arm in as dependent position as you can. Let it hang over the side of the bed, if possible.


    "Pop" the vein to get a histamine release - this tends to pop up the vein.

    Very important to continue to stabilize the vein with a non-dominant hand throughtout the IV start. Don't let go once you've attempted to enter the skin/vein.

    Alcohol rubbed upwards also causes veins to pop-up.

    Know the anatomy - know where veins should be.

    Approach with confidence - as if you've done hundreds.

    IVs sting/hurt - don't be afraid of the patient's response. You need to get an IV for a reason. Be matter-of-fact about it. Apologize if you miss. Warn them that it'll sting - but to try their best to hold still.

    Try not to attempt more than twice - get someone else - but this is tough when staffing is short or the others you work with aren't strong with IVs.


    Just know, that the more attempts you try, the better you get. Don't shy away from them. Also, try to start of with easier IV starts to build up your confidence. Trying to start on very difficulty, edematous patients with no palpable or visible veins is tough on anybody's confidence. I've seen anesthetist have difficulty on these types of patients.

    Oh, yeah - be comfortable over the patient when starting an IV. I've walked in on so many people and they're awkwardly hunched over the patient. Raise the bed, get a chair for yourself, etc.
    Last edit by ArmyMSN on Nov 18, '06
  4. by   ArmyMSN
    Quote from P_RN
    One other thing. If you have someone who is edematous at where you need to start the IV you can take your thumb and press firmly. The edema will pit at that point and the vein will be palpable/visible. Now of course this is for general edema and not edema from a bad IV.

    This is a very good idea - also on obese/overweight patients.

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