Scared to start an IV

  1. I am due to graduate in May and the thought of starting an IV terrifies me. Does anybody else feel this way? I also feel that I will not get putting a cathetor in. I inserted an cathetor in a male, but twice on a female was unsuccessful. I supposse I am feeling normal jitters. what does everyone else feel? Thanks
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    About shortsteph12

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 78; Likes: 1
    full time student & mother of 2


  3. by   mavnurse
    My very last clinical rotation this semester was to the ICU and much to my horror my professor was there working as a nurse!!! So of course she went around looking for all the scary stuff for me to do. There was a coma patient who needed an IV moved and she let me practice over and over on this poor lady. I blew the vein EVERY time and then when I finally got it, I accidentally let the catheter slip out. I would think I had the needle in and then this HUGE bubble would come up above where I had stuck it in. I hope I never have to do that again, but I know I can't avoid it. You're definitely not alone. There are people who have been nurses for years who are scared to do IV's.Someone who had conquered this fear please respond!!!

    My aunt, however, graduated from an LVN program last spring and she has no problem doing IV's now. My guess is that you get used to doing it? Same with catheters.
  4. by   z's playa
    I'm still trying to get over the fact that just because this more soul was in a coma, that made it ok to "use" her as a pin cushion.
  5. by   ManEnough
    Earlier this year when I started out as a new grad, starting IVs TERRIFIED me. I wanted to puke every time a patient needed one. It's been said on here before time and time again.. the only way to get good at IVs is to practice, practice, practice. Of the first 100 I attempted to start, I was probably successful less than 20% of the time. Now I'm up to around 80%. Dare I say it, I sometimes look forward to the challenge of starting an IV on a pt with bad veins. Six months ago I'd be hiding in the bathroom!

    Confidence and skill will come in time. I promise.
  6. by   Cubby
    I still hate starting IVs. Fortunatley, I have gotten very good at it, because I have a GREAT boss who took the time and had the patience until I got good.
    It has to be done. Suck it up and do it until you are competent. No other option. Unless you want to go into another line of work.
  7. by   mavnurse
    I'm still trying to get over the fact that just because this more soul was in a coma, that made it ok to "use" her as a pin cushion.
    I know! She really did need a new IV, but geez...and I wasn't the only person practicing on her since we rotate in partners. She kept saying "it doesn't matter to her," but I felt bad after a few tries so when she asked me if I wanted to do it again I said no. Then the instructor had to finish the job but she couldn't get it b/c we had used up all the veins.
  8. by   nurse_wannabe
    I am also afraid to do IVs. The only time I have done one is with my lab partner for a check-off. Although she had a great vein and I did get blood, it didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped.

    However, as part of our clinical rotation, each pair of students gets to spend an entire clinical day with the IV tech at the hospital. We should get lots of practice then. Is this an option at your school? If it's not scheduled as part of your rotation, maybe you could approach the program director or one of your instructors with the suggestion.

    I'm sure we'll get better with practice. Good luck!
  9. by   shortsteph12
    Thanks for the replies. I was told that we get a day in the peri operative room to practice. I think that the patients will already be nervous enough, going into surgery.
    Thats a great idea to shadow an IV tech I will ask my instructor about that! I know I have to suck it up and do it but, still scares me
  10. by   kathy_79
    mavnurse what i thimk happen, you were not comfortable with situation ostly because you felt it was not good for pt to practise so many times as pt became sort of subject to do what you have to do than real human being. it is not your fault and this what people say, practice when you can, more experience you get, more comfortable you will. i know school is not the same as real life but what our teachers do not realize, they give us - students- first look how it should be, just teaching us instructions not always helps to be well prepared and not to afraid to do what we have to do. do not lose your hope, time will come you become as good as some of our friends here. practise and be gentel so you feel good with procedure and your pts as well.
  11. by   UM Review RN
    this was a pretty good thread on the subject. lots of great tips and information helps you lose the fear.