Who's good at IVs?

  1. I love starting IVs, but am only fairly decent at it. I have the biggest problem with 'rolling' veins, I can never seem to stabilize them. Any suggestions? Any other general tips for a successful IV start? Thanks.
    •  
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   RNforLongTime
    Check out the threads in the Intravenous Therapy section!
  4. by   rachel h
    Ahhh... thank you... I should have thought of that!
  5. by   PsychoRN
    I'm no help because I absolutely HATE starting IVs!!!!!! That's why I'm a psych nurse!
  6. by   ERNurse752
    Try holding traction with your non-sticking hand...pull the skin down and hold tight, which will help keep it still.

    Or, place your non-sticking hand underneath their arm and pull down on both sides of the vein to hold it in place.

    You can also go to www.enw.org and they have a page with IV tips...I'll see if I can get the link directly to the page.

    Happy sticking!
  7. by   ERNurse752
  8. by   Kaleigh
    Okay, I know this may sound a bit unorthodox but I swear it works. Take a large paperclip, pull the small loop straight up and out so that the paper clip makes an "s" curve, lay the large curve over the vein with the straight sides running parallel with the vein. Hold the paperclip with your non-sticking hand and stick!
    The paperclip keeps the vein from "rolling". After you've done it a couple times, you won't need the paperclip anymore.
    Like I said, a bit unortodox and patients look at you like you're crazy when you whip out the paper clip, but I've never missed an IV stick! I really don't use it anymore now. I only use it when I absolutely can't find a viable vein.
  9. by   RNforLongTime
    Hmm...that sounds a little complicated for me. One of the nurses on our IV team likes to use a bp cuff rather than a tourniquet. She says it makes the veins pop up better.

    My IV skills have slipped as we switched from J&J ProtectIV's to BD Insytes! I hate the new ones! Can't get an IV to save my life now! Oh well.
  10. by   LilgirlRN
    The nursing supervisor calls me from the ER to come start IV's on the floor all the time. I agree with nurse-lou sometimes it's better with a BP cuff, sometimes it's better without a tourniquet at all especially if they blow with one. I look for veins I don't think have been stuck before. I really like veins in the upper arm because most nurses never use them. I also use lidocaine as a local before sticking unless the patient is allergic or asks me not to. I tell the patient that if the vein can't feel the needle coming it doesn't know to run from me, lol. In all actuality it just makes it to where I can maneuver the needle without killing them there by getting the IV. Sometimes I use a warmed wet towel wrapped on the arm for about 5-10 minutes to help bring them out. I use whatever needle I have to. I've put 18's in thumbs and I've put 24's in thumbs. If I can't get anything else I'll use a 24 under the assumtion that the patient is dehydrated and as soon as they get some fluids in, they'll have soemthing better to stick. Hope this helps Wendy
  11. by   w8liftinglady
    with the veins that are particularly "rolly",I usually use my hand as the tourniquet.It seems the extra pressure built up by the tourniquet seems to both make the veins roll worse,and make them blow more easily,too.Also,especially with elderly,frail people-I try to avoid those humongous,tortuous veins in the antecubital like the plague-they always blow on contact.
  12. by   Daisy
    Not bragging but I am really good at IVs. Unfortunately I am called when my colleagues have just about destroyed the arms. A good piece of advice is to think about the real purpose of the IV. Don't just start the IV with a lousy #22 just to get one in. If you really get into a pickle get a real IV pro to put one that will last a lot longer than 8 hours. Don't use patients as target practice and try to get under the surface rather than using the veins that you can see. Hold the vein down with your opposite thumb and forefinger to anchor. After awhile you'll get better.Good luck.
  13. by   Mimi Wheeze
    Oh Good Grief! You mean veins roll??! I'm not even in clinicals yet, and doin' all that needle nonsense is already making me nervous!

    (Sigh) I'm just going to keep listening to you experts.. so maybe when my time comes, I'll be filled with wisdom! I didn't know about the IV therapy section here..I'll check that out too. You all are so cool!
  14. by   majrn
    Originally posted by nurse-lou
    Hmm...that sounds a little complicated for me. One of the nurses on our IV team likes to use a bp cuff rather than a tourniquet. She says it makes the veins pop up better.

    My IV skills have slipped as we switched from J&J ProtectIV's to BD Insytes! I hate the new ones! Can't get an IV to save my life now! Oh well.
    nurse-lou, hang in there, I too hated insytes when we went to them. Like anything else it just takes practice to get the hang of em.

close