I tried my first IV stick this week and I didn't get it in. I actually went under and to the side.
I didn't even feel comfortable with the site but the instructor insisted that I pick between the antecubital and the cephalic vein above the wrist. I wanted to choose the metacarpal vein that I had picked out but the instructor thought it might be too small. The thing is, I could see it and feel it, so I felt better about it. I couldn't feel the cephalic vein, and I couldn't see the antecubital, so how was I to pick? I chose the cephalic vein because at least I could see it. I got really nervous and just wasn't sure I could make it in but I tried anyways, and I didn't make it. It has knocked my confidence level down quite a bit. I had 2 other opportunities to get an IV in during the day but once I saw the veins, I didn't think I could do it. I am really discouraged right now. I just need a bit of encouragement, I guess. Everyone else who tried had a successful stick and I'm feeling a bit like a loser right now. My instructor says I get first dibs at IV's next week. I am working myself into a fret over it. I certainly don't want to keep putting holes into people that go nowhere and serve no purpose!
Sep 17, '05
I'm one of those annoying people who just has a knack for starting IVs; I'm not sure what it is or why it happens, it just does.
One thing I have noticed is that new nurses or nurses who have trouble starting IVs don't take their time...they tend to go for the first thing they see. I'll often put on the tourniquet and then take some time to just look, tap around on a few areas, etc. Also, if I don't get an immediate flash, I don't pull the cathlon out right away; sometimes just taking a minute and repositioning is all it takes.
But I would say the one thing that has really helped is to just take your time. It doesn't take any longer to look around for a bit than it does to just stick the first thing you see and then have to stick the pt. again...and at least in my case, I often save my pts another IV start.
Last edit by fab4fan on Sep 18, '05