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Do nurses still time tape the bag when hanging fluids?

Nurses   (9,386 Views 31 Comments)
by Selene006 Selene006 (Member)

Selene006 has 10 years experience .

6,481 Visitors; 247 Posts

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Do nurses still label their hanging I.V. bags of fluid with the timed masking tape? How do you keep track of how much fluid is being infused in--other than looking at the pump (and the patient)?

I just started a new job in a rehab hospital where hanging I.V. antibiotics and I.V. fluids is done round the clock. Whereas, I only saw patients requiring I.V. fluids maybe once every 3-4 months in my prior job in subacute rehab/ LTC. In that setting, it was easy for me to eyeball that one patient (and check for infiltration) who required those meds, but that was just one patient out of 29 who had a central line in place.

I'm finishing up my BSN and only ONE of my nursing instructors has ever remotely mentioned time-taping the fluid bags to monitor I.V. infusions. I have NOT seen any nurses during my clinical rotations utilizing the time-tape method, either. Then again, I didn't keep track of every single nurse on every single shift. I'm a newbie to the whole long term acute care hospital setting.

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catshowlady works as a servant to the felines....

6,324 Visitors; 393 Posts

I would say most place/nurses are so dependent on IV pump technology, that this is no longer routinely done.

I would, however, time tape a bag if I had to run off the pump for some reason (not enough pumps, or whatever). It's a double check on how fast you are running your fluids, in addition to your drip rate.

:paw:

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kayern has 21 years experience and works as a Nurse Manager.

5,707 Visitors; 240 Posts

NO taping. I'm sure new graduates don't even know what that is. We use pumps and if the patient doesn't require fluids, locks.

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caroladybelle works as a Haemetology nurse.

29,323 Visitors; 5,486 Posts

It depends on the facility.

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none the wiser has 5 years experience.

2,919 Visitors; 53 Posts

I think we watched a video that mentioned it once, and we never really discussed it in class, and we never used that method in clinical.

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gentlegiver works as a LPN.

8,523 Visitors; 848 Posts

In the LTC/Rehab I work for, we were told to tape the bags. The reason is simple, what if the machine malfunctions & pumps the fluid in too fast? With the tape we can gauge at a glance if it's working right or not.

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Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 37,473 Visitors; 2,899 Posts

I graduated in 2008. I was taught to time-tape IV bags, but I've never done it on the job.

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NBMom1225 works as a RN.

6,416 Visitors; 248 Posts

Some nurses on my unit still do this, and I really don't understand why. Granted I've only been an RN for a little over a year and by no means know everything...but our unit hangs everything (except blood products) via pump, no gravity drips. I see the point in using the tape-scale for gravity, but why waste your time when all you have to do is press a button/turn a dial to see the volume remaining and see what the patient has received?

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Otessa has 19 years experience and works as a RN.

14,579 Visitors; 1,601 Posts

Where I worked we put the time we hung a new bag in the computer charting (CMR)under "IV fluids". IV pumps were in use. That was how we kept track of things. The only tape we put on our tubing was the time it was started and when to change it -although we put that in the CMR as well.

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JenniferSews works as a Nurse Educator.

9,771 Visitors; 655 Posts

I do!! We don't use pumps, we have a not so accurate "dial a flo" tubing set. I do label with either sharpie or tape my time. One time someone didn't and it resulted in an overnight dose of vanco being held because it wasn't completely clear whether the dose still hanging at the next dosage time was the previous dose or scheduled dose.

ETA- I was taught in school that even in the most technically advanced settings you should mark what you hang for the reason above.

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53,652 Visitors; 5,978 Posts

I haven't seen this done in over 25 years.

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SharonH, RN has 20 years experience and works as a Jack of all trades.

16,995 Visitors; 2,144 Posts

I don't work the floor anymore but there is no need for time-taping with modern IV pumps. I would fight tooth and nail any facility that told me I needed to . It's one of the reasons I quit working at Dekalb Medical Center about 10 years ago, it was a silly waste of time.

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