Techs starting IVs - page 2

by PedsERRN | 8,822 Views | 18 Comments

Has anyone heard about a new law that will prevent techs from starting IVs? Our techs are the experts at IV starts; I don't know what the hospital will do if we can't use them!... Read More


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    I work in an AL ER and techs do not start IV's. I would not mind if they were medics, in fact i think a medic would be a great asset to an ER.
    I want to know exactly what is the the scope of practice is for an non EMT I or II tech in Alabama??
    I am not happy with techs making decisions concerning pt care or assessments .
    i am uncomfortable with techs dcing ivs then assessing the site . who would be responsible for problems resulting from ivs if assessed incorrectly??
    Not to sure i like the idea of techs inserting foley caths... who will be responsible for Foley insertion that results in nasocromial infection due to sloppy/non sterile technique? i am seeing techs do things that should be reserved for rns or lpns . I am seeing nurses allowing techs to perform or make decisions concerning pts that would be a liability to the facility due to the increase in the number of pt needing care vs number of rns on shift.
    a tech should not be taking on professional duties reserved for nursing. what kind of impact will this have on professional nursing?
    i am definitely unhappy with the sub. OJT nurses is not a good idea... duties are being passed to techs with little or no training and or formal education. there should be a definite line drawn.
    i do agree a tech can be very valuable to doctors, nurses and pts when utilized properly.
    tsalagicara likes this.
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    I have no problem with techs starting IV, as long as they do it right and they let the nurse look at it after doing it. Some techs are more educated than some of us even, maybe even more knowledgeable than us RORO. Just look at your term "nasocromial", just to make a correction my friend, there is no such term as nasocromial. It is nosocomial, that means hospital-acquired. I hope you keep an open mind about learning from others even though they are supposedly "techs".
    carlyn0726 likes this.
  3. 0
    I'm a nurse tech working in the ER. I've worked there for 4 months and granted I'm not the most experienced IV starter in the lot, but I've started IV's that floor nurses called me to do because their 12 sticks wouldn't make it. So yes, tech's who are trained in class, "checked off" by RN's at least 5 times before allowed to be autonomous, are perfectly well qualified to start IV's. It's what prepares us to be great nurses. It's no different than a new grad learning IV's on real patients. Everyone starts somewhere. It's a huge relief to the RN's who are insanely busy. If they don't trust a tech with their patient's IV they say so. That's the RN's responsibility to make sure that the person they are delegating a task to is competent. If they don't like the idea of using a tech, they don't have to. I can have a CNA do my accuchecks and vital signs. They are trained to do so, but if they are not competent then I as a (future) RN would not delegate these tasks because my patient care is my responsibility. Techs are very helpful, but not mandatory.

    BTW, I start IV heplocks. Saline, D5, LR, etc are "meds" and this is a perfectly good rule. A tech could start fluids not knowing the patient is CHF, etc. That is technically a medicine that you are giving a patient because you have to watch for the s/s. Only the initial flush is completed, maintenance flushes are done by RN's.
    Last edit by ShannonRN09 on May 28, '08
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    When I was a tech in the ER, we didn't start IV's, but did phlebotomy all the time. I think that techs not starting IV's had something to do with the nurse practice act in my home state. It was a great relief to the nurses not to have to draw labs themselves. We also did accuchecks, inserted foleys, made fiberglass splints, irrigated wounds, and did a bunch of other skills that don't come to mind right now. Oh yeah, we also d/c'd pt's IV's when the RN's directed us to do so.

    In a way, non-medic PCT's starting IV's is probably not a good thing. An incompetent or sloppy tech (and there are a few) could do a lot of damage if they started IV's with only OJT. Starting saline locks is one thing, but I wouldn't want a non-RN or non-medic pushing heparin into someone's veins. On the contrary, if a tech has paramedic certification, then they should be able to start IV's, because they have received just as much (if not more) didactic, practical and clinical training in starting IV's. Granted, an IV nurse might know more about venous access compared to a medic, but regular RNs don't receive as much training on starting IV's as medics do. I'm a nursing student, so I can at least speak from my own experience.
    Last edit by edogs334 on May 31, '08
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    i am an EMT-P and started IV's in the ER i worked at as well as was on the IV team and went up to the floors almost nightly. i work in an Endoscopy unit now, and i start all the IV's there (ends up being about 20 a day) and also float to nuclear lab, CT scan, etc (i work in a diagnostic clinic) to start IV's when needed. it is within my scope of practice to start IV's, maintain IV's and push certain IV meds. the RNs i work with have flat out told me if i left they would be lost without me because they have only started IVs on dummy arms.
  6. 0
    In my ED , they are called Multi Functional Techs , and they start IV's all the time but only in the ED. CNA's cannot start IV's , but if they are trained as MFT's in the ED, then they can start IV's. When i was a brand new nurse, the techs taught me how to start IV's. Some techs actually do better inserting IV's than a lot of nurses I know.
  7. 1
    And I wonder why nurses can't find jobs. We are being outsourced like everything else.
    DixieRedHead likes this.
  8. 0
    Very well said
  9. 0
    Can a cardiac (EKG) tech spike a .9% iv, prime the line, connect it, turn the roller clamp and maintain the patency of the IV? Is this against the law? I am desperate to find out the legalities on this issue. My understanding for the past 24 years as an RN is that only an RN could do this.


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