Quote from Asystole RN
Try sticking yourself. The pain and feeling really helps you understand venous access. You can feel the catheter touch the vein, you can feel valves etc.
PIVs are just something you have to practice. Make sure you learn and truly understand venous A&P, knowing where particular veins are will greatly help you.
I haven't started a line in several years. I remember quite vividly how to do it, but I know
my skill in this is very rusty. I know that I can do it if I had to, but I am nowhere near as efficient as I used to be. Now then, PIV starts are a skill. Like bicycling, it's something that is hard to forget, but you can still do it
but to get really good at it after being away takes time.
Quote from xtxrn
It makes my heart ache that you didn't get this in school "enough"
PIV starts take a few hundred to get a good idea how to do it. School just doesn't usually devote enough time to getting that many sticks, and can't. A great place to get experience doing just IV starts would be Pre-Op for a few days...
To the OP: Check around with any acute care hospitals that your LTC facility may have a relationship with and see if they'd be willing to have you do PIV starts or lab draws as part of your CE or something like that. The worst they can say is "sorry, we can't/won't do that." It may end up being on your own time, but consider the trade-off!
If that won't happen, gather up some willing co-workers and do IV starts on them. Not just hand, wrist, AC... also look to get forearm starts too. They can be tricky to do and a little deeper and more difficult to palpate than the other more common sites. Even just try to palpate the veins... Getting the feel for them is the hardest part, IMHO. Just put on a tourniquet and start feeling for those veins!