im writing here because I'm a bit discouraged.
im in my last year of a third year program. And I SUCK at everything related to veins!
In total, I had 5 opportunities to draw blood and start IV's. And every single time I missed the vein and/or my clinical instructor had to help me replacing the needle. I have no problem finding a good vein, it's really about sticking the needle right in and replacing it after..
I have never been able to do one of these things by myself and I feel very behind from all of the other students of my clinical group are comfortable with those techniques.
Anyone was in a similar situation? Did it eventually got better?
Oct 18, '16
Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty darned good at getting IV sticks. It took me way more than 5 sticks to get here. I'm usually pretty good at being able to put an IV catheter into just about any vein that I can feel. There still are patients that I have that will easily humble me because they've got no surface veins that can be catheterized. These patients tend to be dehydrated diabetic IVDU types with hard leather skin. Being that we don't (yet) have an IR Vein finder and I'm not (yet) trained to do ultrasound IV sticks... it's still amazing that I can get lines in some of the patients that we do get at work.
What does it take to get good? Practice. Lots of it.
What do I do to get the sticks that I do? Well, I let my fingers do the "seeing" and I feel for the size of the vein, bounciness, and I palpate the direction it goes. I then go in at about 30 degrees or so just to get under the skin. Once I'm under the skin, then I shallow-out the angle to nearly parallel with the skin and continue advancing. I imagine what the tip of the catheter would be seeing and "look" for the vein. Once I get a flash, I advance about 2 mm more and start advancing the catheter off the needle. Usually everything works great. Sometimes I either just barely get into the vein and tear it a little bit when advancing the catheter (not good) or I have perforated the opposite wall and end up advancing the hub basically into normal tissue. In either event, I consider that vein as "blown." I then switch to my alternate site. I'm not afraid of using small gauge catheters as sometimes only the really small ones will do the job. I'll just use whatever works.
Last edit by akulahawkRN on Oct 19, '16
Oct 19, '16
Quote from TheCommuter
This is my 11th year of being a nurse. 10 of those years were spent at the bedside in direct patient care.
I've always been hideous at IV lines and blood draws. I'm simply not a hands-on person and would rather pass these task on to someone who enjoys procedural skills. In exchange, I'd complete paperwork or some other task for them.
Out of thousands of opportunities, I've successfully started about 30 IV lines. I've successfully drawn blood perhaps twice.
This!!! Except I DO like hands-on type stuff, but I'm just TERRIBLE at drawing blood and/or starting IV's, after 13 years of being a nurse!!!
Now, it probably doesn't help that I've worked in several areas of nursing, including many years in both LTC and psych, which are two areas that generally do not require a lot of stickin'.
Now I'm back working on a Med Surge floor, where there are a lot of IV's, sticks,
but if there is someone else around who's not terribly busy and can start an IV for me?
I'm to the point in my nursing career that I don't care to ask someone who I know is better at it than I am! Saves the patient that extra bit of torture.
My advice? Same as others really; keep practicing and you'll get it!!!!
Last edit by NurseCard on Oct 19, '16
: Reason: addendum