Hi everyone. I just started my new job on the IV team with the VA on Monday. I have no IV experience so they are training me. I have had a few successful IV starts but more misses. I am starting to get discouraged. I hate having to stick the patient and miss. Everyone tells me I'm doing ok but I'm stressing about it. I can tend to be a perfectionist so I hate not being good at what I'm doing. How long did it take you before you were good at IV starts? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
Dec 13, '08
Just don't give up!! Practise makes perfect. It would be better if you are more relaxed. Take a chair and sit next to your patient, make conversation and take a deep breath. Always stay in control of the situation. Attempt your insertion about 2mm before your vein so that you can have better control on the vein. This way you can pull back if needed.
Good luck you will make it.
Dec 13, '08
6mos to a year you will be an expert. Generally most of the new grads I've worked with require about 20-30 sucessful sticks before they feel comfortable with the proceedure. Do a search for threads on IV insertion- there are lots of great tips that have already been covered in the forums. Most of all, know you are not going to get it on one stick every time- no one does. As long as you are using good technique and approach the task with comfidence you are doing OK by your patients.
Dec 13, '08
You probably not feel comfortable for at least 6 mos. After that you will notice that you get increasingly better. I would invest in a good IV text and read that cover to cover. IV therapy is not just the skill of getting an IV or PICC in....it is so much more. So first purchase PLumbers principles and practices of IV therapy by Ada Plumber and get reading...you absolutely need to know how to handle all the complication related to IV therapy and all the nursing intervention to treat them. You can also use this site as a resource. Good Luck and congratulations!!!!!
Dec 13, '08
Practice makes perfect. When I was a new nurse, I had had 2 previous attempts in school which I did not get, and it was not until I started working that I got the practice I needed. At first I would ask my preceptor to be there when I did an IV start for moral support and advice, and I would explain to the patient that I may not get it on the first try, but that I would not stick them unless I felt a good vein (never rely on sight alone as there are lots of times when you may think you see a vein, but it is hard to palpate, or it could be a shadow, not a vein).
Now I have been a nurse for over a year and am pretty good about IV starts. Still have those bad days where I couldn't hit a vein even if it was popping out at me, but that happens. I started gaining confidence with the "easy" sticks and worked up to the harder ones. We don't have an IV team so we have to do it, which forced me to get proficient.
Dec 22, '08
Prior to working on the IV team I worked in CCU and I thought I was pretty good at starting IV's. It took me about a good year to really to be able to get the really hard sticks. I say keep at it and the more you do, the better you will become. One day a patient will say to you "You are so good, I didn't even feel that."
Dec 30, '08
As noted by earlier respondents, experience will bring easy competence, and delving into written and visual aids prepared by experienced "stickers" will bring you the tools and the confidence to accumulate that experience. One of the things that I found extremely helpful was watching carefully when experienced IV nurses were looking for veins, and asking them to say aloud the things they were thinking as they accessed the vein and established the line, to better understand the process, and also what the stumbling blocks were, and what the different means to overcome those blocks were. When I have a bad couple of days, I return to reading what the experts have written, studying anatomy charts, and concentrating on getting alot of sleep and a good breakfast, before going back to work. :wink2:
Best of Luck!
Home IV Nurse
Dec 31, '08
Please I need some help. I haven't done IV Therapy for a very long time. Is there anybody out there that could enlighten me on Isotonic, Hypertonic and Hypotonic IV medication. I've used them many 'moons' ago and would just like to be updated on them although I am not using it in my current position.
Jan 8, '09
Thanks for all of your suggestions. Things are getting easier for me the more I try. I am now getting more than I miss so I guess that's a good thing. Thanks again.