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I am beginning to lose my mind


Has 10 years experience.

Today was a bad day for me. Today we learned Advance IV therapy we learned how to insert the peripheral cathether and how to do blood draws. Well I am terrible when it come to putting on that tourniquet. I could not get it tight enough without working at it for 5 minutes. Then the veins I was not so sure if I was feeling the veins because you can not see my lab partners veins not even in the hand. The instructor tried looking and she said not to do my lab partner because she can see them either. So then I did my instructor I did a vein on her hand I got the needle/cathether into the vein but did not advance good enough and the blood splashing out. Oh please someone tell me with practice and time that I will get better at what I do. Does anyone have any horror stories with IV starts and placing IV's. How about good bad stories that turned into good stories? We only get one practice day at school as a class. How abotu everyone else.

You must have faith in yourself and your ability to succeed. When I attended my patient care technician program I had difficulty applying the tourniquet. The program supplied us with lab draw supplies to take home to pracitice technique styles. Once you have the technique down the rest with come naturally. I hope my words of encouragement will help you out. You say you have a daughter you could use one of her dolls as a manique to practice on that is want I did. Since my family is unwelling to partcipate no matter how much I reassure them or you can get together with a classmates to be a patient/client. I hope my words of encouragement will help out.

Definitely comes with practice! My first few, I would see the flashback and know I was in the vein, then get so excited that my hands would start shaking uncontrollably. I had quite a few pts ask me if it was my first time starting an IV! Then I got better at getting the catheter in, but would make a huge mess with blood all over the place when connecting the HL. Literally splashing onto my shoes sometimes; again more pts looking at me like I was crazy!

Now after a few months in the ER, putting them in all day long, I rarely have a problem getting the line in (Knock on wood, you will have off days when you can't hit a thing) Even put one in a pt's tiny little foot vein today.

Just take your time, you'll learn from your mistakes. You'll find the technique that works right for you. Everyone has their favorite sites to go for. Try to relax, you will get better.


Has 10 years experience.

Brown suga and Janine, thanks for your stories. My little brother allowed me to practice putting the tourniquet on his arm last night and after having troubles at school eariler in the day yesterday I was able to get it on properly. I need to learn to be a little more patient and not worry about whether or not if I am successful on the first try on everything I learn in nursing school. I am keeping my positive attitude and know one day I will be able to eventually do IV insertions the proper way.


It will come with practice, I promise!

You're so lucky to have the opportunity to practice on a real person before you go into the clinical to try it! We have these dummy arms that we were allowed to practice on for a couple of days, and that's nothing like sticking a real person. In my case, I practiced and practiced on the dummy arm, then my dad (who is a paramedic) brought home a couple of caths to let me try on him. I went straight through the "good" vein in each of his hands (was unsuccessful). I was so upset! My next chance to try it came in the clinical setting on an African American man in the ER. With my instructor hovering over me (and getting in the way, I might add) I got the IV on the first try. I was so excited - we didn't have many opportunities in this particular clinical to work on our skills, so I knew this would probably be my only chance at attempting an IV in this clinical.

As far as the tourniquet goes, it just needs to be crossed tight around the pt's arm, with the outermost piece of tourniquet tucked under the other part, with both end pieces sticking up away from your puncture site. (That probably sounded confusing, but it's the best way I can explain without showing you...hope it helps!)

Kristin :cool:

Use a BP cuff! It is a even pressure around the whole arm works great! I got this tip from a woman who has been a nurse for 20+ yrs.

I have worked as a phlebotomist and blood draws I could do blindfolded now. First tip, do not learn to draw by site. In order to learn to do it well, you need to learn to feel for veins. This takes practice. You can practice this on just about anyone though. All you need is a tourniquette to practice finding veins. Practice on as many people you can. You don't have to actually stick people to find veins. After a while you will be able to feel them with ease. Once you have perfected finding veins sticking will be easy. You can practice the whole procedure over and over until you get the technique down. It is hard to describe, but you can feel the veins they feel kind of bouncy and when you press on them they bounce back. I know I am not describing it well, but practice your technique as much as possible. Go in confident and knowing how to do it and everything else will fall in place.



Has 10 years experience.

Thank you for the suggestion Teresa

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