All experienced nurses: Share your tips and trick on starting an IV.

Nurses General Nursing


I will have to start an IV myself over the next few weeks and I know that those of you who have done it a while have developed your own style and ways to troubleshoot (rolling veins, dehydrated elderly patients, etc). I would appreciate any advice or tips you could share.

jayna, RN

269 Posts

Prepare all the needed things for ivi insertion procedure. Select a good vein, i always look at the wrist first, the cephalic vein is approriate for new users as for me i go for the dorsal metacarpal veins first and whosh...

Select an appropriate site and palpate accessible veins

Apply tourniquet 5-6 inches above the venipucture site to obstruct venous flow and distend the vein.

Sometimes, ask patient to close open his fist that is if you can't palpate the veins and observe and palpate for a suitable vein

swab, then enter skin gentle with the catherter held by the hub in the dominant hand, bevel side up. The catheter may be inserted directly or the side of the vein. Advance the needle or catheter into the vein.A sensation of 'give' can be felt when needle enters the vein.

when blood returns through the lumen advance further into the vein.

Elderly or dehydrated i rolled the skin with my thumb and felt for firmness and palpable veins make sure the vein is steady and not movable, not very firm tourniqet.

most i don't use torniqet:p :p

More to come from the very experienced nurse

:eek: :eek: :eek:


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

You have to start an IV on yourself?? Wow that will take coordination. I always use two hands when starting an IV - one gloved, one ungloved.

My patients are typically healthy pregnant gals, but my only tip is to get through that valve is to open the fluid wide open and advance the needle as the fluid is opens the valve nicely and less painfully.

Otherwise..good luck. Frankly I would refuse to start an IV on myself.

Specializes in NICU.

I think she has to start an IV herself, not actually on herself. ;>) Ouch. I wouldn't do it either!! I'd tell those instructors to take a walk.


299 Posts

Atevery hospital I have worked in we have had an IV team so needless to my skills are quite poor. So I will be looking here for expert advice as well.

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