I have been a RN for 1.5 years now. When I started nursing, I was pretty decent in placing IVs, probably not with placing difficult sticks. I knew the mechanics of it, but was probably not aware of my particular technique. All I know is that I often go in flush with the skin. However about 5 months ago, I noticed a decline in my IV insertion rate. I never have a problem getting in the vein. However, nowadays, I blow all my good veins. I often get a good flash of blood, filling the catheter chamber but by the time I thread it through I’ve blown the vein. Sometimes, I blow the vein immediately after getting into it. I understand that we can’t avoid blowing veins when they’re weak, but I also blow very good, 20, 18G type veins. I am concerned because I know where to find the good rarely used veins. However, I know something has changed in my technique that’s causing me to blow these very good veins. One experienced RN on my floor told me that once I enter the vein, I might be pulling back the needle too soon or too late. I will like more suggestions on what I might be doing wrong.
This has become my major stressor in nursing. I love the pace of nursing but I’ve definitely lost confidence in my IV skills, a very important nursing skill. Most of the time when I have a patient on continuous IVF, all I can think about is that I hope the IV last for the rest of my shift because it’s really difficult to find someone else to help place it. We often differ to the clinical specialist on my unit, who hasn’t been too forthcoming in helping me improve my skills.
I’ve talked to our clinical educator, the specialist about having a session in the ER, PACU, GI and other units where IV insertion is a constant task. They continue to give me the run around about not being able to arrange this (something about labor laws and overtime even though they are aware I will be doing it on my own time).
I will at least like to get the good veins and worry about difficult sticks later. I will definitely appreciate any tips from everyone. If anyone is in the Chicago area and have suggestions about where I can get good practice on my own time please I am very open to it.
Thank you in advance.