we weren't allowed to do ivs when i was in school. state law. you had to have an rn after your name to do them. when i finally got my chance, it turned into a horrible nightmare. the hospitals put all us new grads through an iv training program, but there is nothing like hands on experience. it took me many years to hone my iv skills. if you look to the left, you will see that one of my fields of practice was iv therapy. it took hard work to get to that level of achievement. part of being an iv therapist was teaching people how to start ivs. that included nurses and medical students alike. i can tell you from personal experience that in a lot of cases the anxiety people feel at doing this overrides much of the theory they learned in their books. we had to watch and coach them very carefully so they didn't tear up the patient's veins in their frustration to perform a successful stick. i have seen learners attempt to twist the iv needle, contort a patient's limb and end up with a bloody mess in trying to accomplish a successful iv placement, which at that point, isn't going to happen anyway. that is just wrong.
starting ivs is a very serious thing and some states and nursing programs feel that you need to prove your worth by becoming a licensed nurse first. i think that many who are new at it erroneously feel that it is not something that is hard to do once they've seen an experienced person insert one. what you're not likely to observe is the screwed-up attempts. and, there's probably just as many of those as there are successful sticks. what nurse is going to let you observe her failure if she doesn't feel confident at inserting ivs? the patient also needs to be taken into consideration as well because they are the ones who are the recipients of your first attempts. getting stuck by an iv needle hurts! it's doesn't carry the same level of comfort for the patient as some of the other procedures you are learning.
just be patient. read up on the procedure. i just posted this first website on another thread yesterday. watch how other rns and lpns do it. your time will come.
- iv therapy. a very nice one page tutorial from e-university that includes the indications for iv therapy, the various types of peripheral iv devices (includes pictures), a discussion and explanation of isotonic, hypotonic, hypertonic fluids, the difference between crystalloid and colloid solutions, choosing veins, the steps in venipuncture (includes drawings), how to discontinue an iv, and a short discussion at the end on calculating drip rate.
- iv tips and tricks
- iv starts. . .improving your odds! a very nice article on starting ivs.
- a short video on starting iv's and using iv devices to collect blood specimens. click on "insertion of an intravenous catheter". (as an aside. . .the last iv team i worked on trialed that product when it was first developed.)