IV practice

  1. Hello All,

    I'm in my first year of nursing school at my local community college. Needless to say, it's been very tough, but worth it. Last week in lab, we started IV therapy. Our lab meets one day a week. I practiced in lab again this week; however, our labs will be closed for a week because of fall break. I really want to get my technique down pat. Any suggestions? When many of you were in nursing school, what/whom did you practice on to get your IV technique down? Thanks in advance
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    Anything you can stick a needle into and tape down. A pillow? A smooth round soft vegetable?
  4. by   dlaura22
    In my opinion, nothing really compares to the real thing. Get your steps and technique down, but it is all different when sticking a human vein. I once practiced on a piece of tubing that was taped down. Good luck!
  5. by   shock-me-sane
    something i will never do again. I started one on myself. Ouch!
    (but it was my first good stick!)
  6. by   heather318
    Straws can work well for practice, but as stated previously, nothing compares to the real thing.. My mom let me practice on her..
  7. by   danh3190
    I have to agree with the above posts. I've never seen anything that feels like human skin and vein, and feeling is so much of starting an IV. Manequins etc. are good for practicing your tape down techniques etc. though.
  8. by   jjjoy
    I used a banana for practice. I would place it on a table and hold it so the rounded side was facing me and each end was on the table. I would imagine it was some little ol' lady's arm or back of hand that I had to hold still while gently, yet with enough force, pierce the skin. Then I'd practice advancing the catheter and taping it down... all while still steadying the "arm". I just used the same old needle and catheter over and over for practice at home.
  9. by   southernbelle08
    I always practiced on a stress ball or an orange, lol. Just anything to get your technique down is what I suggest. Nothing compares to the real thing, but like my instructor has told us time and time again - at first they are looking at how well you know the procedure and how well your technique is. Yes, it'd be great to get every IV on the first try...but that doesn't always happen. The most important thing is doing the procedure right and you can polish your technique on anything. Just practice, practice, practice!
  10. by   turbohound
    My wife (a doc) used oranges when she needed to work on her technique. Then she graduated to using my shoulders (for IMs). Now that I'm looking at nursing school, I've been considering a short course in phlebotomy. Since the pleb-schools sometimes offer IV certifications as well.
  11. by   MB37
    We are absolutely forbidden from practicing anything invasive on ourselves, each other, spouses, friends, etc. I mean I guess they wouldn't know, but if something went wrong...now, the poor sick patients in the hospital, they barely even get a choice about being our pincushions! (I mean, they can refuse a student, but who really does...)
  12. by   Achoo!
    During clinicals, we were allowed to go down to Ambulatory surgery for a day. there was alot of opportunity there!
  13. by   mturner88
    My peers and family let me practice on them. We received an IV kit from school and I used that. I also had some 24g needles to practice with all though the hospital uses 18s and 20s. When I was on doing my Med-Surg rotation, our nurses let us get every opportunity to start an IV on the floor. Our nursing instructor also let us start on her as well which was helpful but nerve racking.

    Another suggestion would be to use a pigs foot from the grocery store. You won't see much or any flashback when entering the vein but its better then sticking straws or fruit.

    Good luck!
  14. by   jemommyRN
    I also considered taking a phlebotomy course (only 3 weeks). Anyways, I practice on my RN co-workers (I'm a secretary in CCU) and also on the nursing students (nurse techs) that work there. I'm so happy they allow me to do that. It has helped my confidence and now I'm getting them on the first stick. Just ask around, you never know who is willing to let you try. I looked on the internet for a fake arm with veins, etc. but I did not see it. If anyone knows of one, please post the info!

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