priming IV tubing tips?

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    I have a perfomance test on Sat morning for changing and IV bag, giving oral meds, and straight cath. I am most worried about the IV one as we haven't been able to really practice except one time with our equipment in our kit. There aren't extras that we can open up and practice the priming and spiking. I think I am most worried about keeping the tube untangled and being able to easily prime with no air bubbles. I was told by a couple instructors that we should keep the entire tubing above waist level, which could be difficult when trying to arrange it all and get it set up, as well as when priming. Any tips on how to make this work out well for my test??? I just hate these performance test. It is so stressful!! I have been practicing and hoping that I won't forget any steps or checks when I am doing it in front of someone.
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  4. 0
    Here's what I do: unwrap the tubing and close the roller clamp. Spike the bag and prime the drip chamber. If there's a place to hang the bag to prime it, do so. If not, lay it on the counter, have the tubing at the same level coiled up in your hand, and open the roller clamp. If the bag is on the counter, press on the bag slightly to move the fluid through the tubing.

    By making sure the clamp is closed before you spike the bag, it ensures that there will be no air bubbles.
  5. 0
    I do pretty much same thing as Tazzi - I'm a student, mind you, so my advice might not be the greatest, but what I do for exams (as far as priming):

    -make sure the tubing's clamped & spike the bag, prime the drip chamber

    -direct the end of the tubing into the waste basket (you should still be able to do this while keeping the tubing @ waist level) or into the sink

    -open the roller clamp & let the fluid just empty into the garbage can/sink

    -once the fluid's dripped out into the sink/trash can you know the tubing's primed; just hook it right up to existing IV

    -adjust the drip rate

    Good luck!
  6. 0
    Yes I do the same thing as the others have mentioned, except because we primarily use tubng with ports, I often have to reclamp the IV half way through, turn over the ports and tap them to flush the air bubbles trapped in the ports. Don't forget to prime your lever/luer lock too.
  7. 0
    This may be a little late for you, but when priming the tubing, close the roller clamp, hold any access ports upside down, and after filling the drip chamber to the correct level, prime the tubing as slow as you can.

    Since I had someone show me this way, I've not had trouble with any air in my IV lines.
  8. 0
    when you are priming iv tubing, which way do the ports/valves point? i think our directions say to invert them, but i don't know which way that means -- up or down? and why does it matter
  9. 2
    Two key things:

    1) Close the roller clamp!!!!

    2) Prime slowly.

    Inverting the ports helps some, but I've noticed that the air tends to stay in them, so it's really not a huge issue.
    danissa and isadoragag like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from isadoragag
    when you are priming iv tubing, which way do the ports/valves point? i think our directions say to invert them, but i don't know which way that means -- up or down? and why does it matter
    Hold the port upside down as it fills, then let it go so you will prime all the air out,-- it does make a difference b/c most pumps will beep occlusion if there is air left in the chamber- the chamber has 2 sides to fill, as well as a filter ,soyou need to hold it upside down and then halfway thru turn it right side up to purge it completely. I think it's too bad you don't have the opportunity to practice more, but your classmates are in the same boat.. Good Luck!
    isadoragag likes this.
  11. 0
    In the "real world" the small amount of air that might go into the tubing from the ports is not harmful, unless you're working in NICU. In adults, those tiny air bubbles isn't harmful- you would have to have pretty much the whole length of tubing of air to do damage...
  12. 0
    Quote from ERRNTraveler
    In the "real world" the small amount of air that might go into the tubing from the ports is not harmful, unless you're working in NICU. In adults, those tiny air bubbles isn't harmful- you would have to have pretty much the whole length of tubing of air to do damage...
    Which is true but this is a student who needs help priming tubing for an upcoming clinical performance test. Nursing school never equates to the real world.


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