Why does a hospital need RNs which are unable to do anything else but starting IV's??

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    Last edit by Chuckie on Jan 17, '03
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   PhantomRN
    I personally love the IV team. It frees me up to do other things while they find a vein and stick em. At our hospital most, not all, of the IV team will hook up a patients antibiotic or IV line if it is all set up in the room for them. Which is nice.

    I don't expent them to do patient care for me. I figure they did their time on bedside nursing and are now IV team and they dont have to help me. It is nice of them if they want to do it, but it is not in their job description, at least at my hospital.
  4. by   RNforLongTime
    For the past eight months, I have worked at a hospital that doesn't have an IV team. I worked for 3 years at a hospital that does have an IV team and let me tell you, how I miss that.

    I am having a difficult time learning to start IV's. It is not an easy skill to learn. It does make my day a little harder especially when you go to hang an IV antibiotic at the beginning of your shift and you find that the site is no good and therefore have to re-start the IV. How I long for the days when I could pick up the phone, dial the operator and have her page the IV team who would then come in about a half hour or longer when they were really busy to re-start the IV.

    No, the IV team where I used to work never did anything like give a pt a bedpan as it ws not in their job description and they inserted PICC lines on day shift when there were more IV Team nurses scheduled.

    So, if anyone can give me any tips, I could sure use it!

    Kelly
  5. by   debbyed
    I guess because I have worked most of my life in ER's I find as much use for them as I do EKG techs. It's a whole lot faster just to do it yourself.
  6. by   canoehead
    No use for them- I can start 90% of my IV's within 5 minutes, and it would take that much time to call them and get them here.

    Also no use for respiratory techs, nurses are qualified to do the same things, minus vents, and we have a holistic view of the patient and can prioritize based on that- plus we are used to working together. Where I work the RT's are trying to get nurses to take over their duties for the night shift- including vents. If we are good enough when they don't want to be woken up why not transfer their budget to us and let us cover the whole day.
  7. by   Stormy
    IV teams have been a thing of the past for well over 10-15 years in most places here. I personally prefer to do them myself as well. IV teams were abolished due to budget constraints.
    The RT issue is another issue altogether. Our facility will be moving to 24 hr. coverage in a few weeks. Up til now, nurses manage all the respiratory care on nights, including the vents. I personally am looking forward to the 24 hour coverage. I look at RT's being a valuable member of our team.
  8. by   OpenHeartRN
    It saddens me that anyone would consider another member of the health care team to be 'useless'. Hooray for those of you that are proficient in placing peripheral IV's. For every one of you, there are 10 who can't stick, won't stick, or don't stick. PLEASE - share your talents by teaching your co-workers your tips and secrets. Remember, it is the patient that matters. As for the IV Team that "sits in the cafeteria for hours waiting for calls", that sounds like crappy management. If your facility has an IV Team, rejoice and be grateful. We are not a dying speciality, and patients love us!
  9. by   kennedyj
    In the military our CNA's or med techs start our IVs. I usually give them 1-2 tries or do it from the beginning if it seems like a difficult stick. But I love doing IV sticks especially the hard ones. A little trick a CRNA taught me is to go in slow, get your flash then turn the bevel down after its in the vein and as you advance putting the cath tip just a little toward the surface. Makes it harder to go through the back wall in small veins. This works for me very well.

    As nurses I think we should all be proficient in IV sticks. You never know when you may need to drop in one quickly.
  10. by   3651bht
    A couple of hints... Try the anticub.. I know most of the other nurses will hate you.. But it's a big vein and it will boost your confidence and you will get to feel the "pop" and then you can go on to smaller veins... Remember that it's not so much the "seeing" as the ''feeling".. The ones you can see are sometimes tough..both physically and literally to get... Hot pack an arm..And by all means tell the patient you are glad that everyone else has trouble getting an IV in them just as you finish taping that sucker down and starting the fluid....

    bobbi
  11. by   funnynurse
    when I graduated from school, I was scared to death to start IV's!I would always call the float nurse to put one in if I needed it. After a while, I realized if I never do them, I would never be good at it! I started decreasing my calls to the float nurse and put them in my self. The more I did, the better I became. I still call the float nurse to put one in if I am busy, but if they are unavailable, I don't freak out cause I can do it myself
    Also, if the IV nurses wanted to put pt's on the bsc and do other nursing duties, they would not be on the IV team! I think it is great to have a nursing job where you are not stuck at the bedside all of the time, everybody needs a break! Especially if you have been a floor nurse for years and just need a change.
  12. by   mozart
    hi, my comment is that.....if you want to be a pro in setting IV, i suggest you should try with your own colleagues. my colleague had once put an IV line in my very own vein when i was having my night shift in the AE. we should learn that first with our colleague and when it comes to the patient, don't ever feel pity to them because you know you can do it. sometimes we need to put that sense of empathy aside for awhile..know what i mean?
  13. by   RN-PA
    I love-love-LOVE the IV team at our hospital! The last place I worked was phasing out the IV team and we had to start our own. Because I worked part time, I NEVER got good at starting IV's. Part of the problem was that on the Med-Surg unit, with 6 to 7 patients to care for on 3-11 shift, no aides, covering LPN's, often no Unit Clerk, etc., I never felt I could take the time needed to get a good stick. As much as I tried to be calm and focused, I was rarely succesful. PLUS, so many patients were elderly with bad veins, mastectomy patients with only one useable arm, for example-- I hated missing a stick because I knew it meant one less site available.

    The IV team are the experts at IV placement and I am so thankful to have them!
  14. by   CATHYW
    Bobbi gave very good advice. Another tip is to let gravity work for you-allow the arm to hang dependent for a minute or two, over the edge of the bed. Then, put your tourniquet on before lifting the arm to search for veins.
    The most difficult folks, by far, are the grossly obese. You can't see a vein, and you can't palpate one. My experience is to try to smooth the adipose tissue horizontally across the ac, looking and feeling for a vein. For some reason, that worked well for me.
    Another one is to remove a person's watch. Usually there is a medial radial vein that the watch band covers and protects from tanning, etc.
    In elders, don't be misled by their large, prominent veins. They ysually are plaqued and sclerotic. Try a 20 or 22 in the hands, wrists, and forearms.
    In babies, look at the dorsum of their little hands. Again, you may have to run a thumb horizontally across their pudgy little hands to push the adipose tissue aside. Another way is to put the medial aspect of their ankle against the palm of your hand. Then, with the other hand, flex the outer aspect of the foot and ankle downward, and the veins on the dorsal aspect of the foot become evident. Depepnding upon the age of the child, do not use too big an angiocath. Start with a 22 or 24. For neonates, a 26 may be necessary. We used to keep those on the Pedi Crash Cart.
    I was never a fan of IV teams-always had to wait on them. Working in ER, it is much easier to just get your vein, draw labs, plug in your solution, get your EKG, and etc.
    In the last hospital I worked in, the ER nurses were called to start difficult IV's on the floor.
    Good luck!

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Why does a hospital need RNs which are unable to do anything else but starting IV's??