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I just suck at sticking people.

Nurses   (16,705 Views | 38 Replies)

dirtyhippiegirl has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage.

1 Follower; 29,759 Profile Views; 1,569 Posts

I am starting to get very frustrated with myself.

I'm about 10 weeks into orientation on a mixed ICU/tele/floor unit. For the last couple of days, all of my co-workers have been lining up to let me stick them - whether it's starting IVs or blotod draws.

If I can't see it, I can't stick it. And I feel like half the time when I can see it, unless the vein is about a mile across, I can't hit that either. And I am totally inept at feeling most of the time. Coworkers will be like "oh, you have to be able to feel this!" and I'm like...lol, no. Or I can feel but start to doubt. My biggest issue is positional - I know there's a vein THERE but have trouble sticking in exactly the right angle, if that makes sense.

Everyone keeps saying that it's just a matter of experience but I'm honestly starting to think that I really just...suck at blood draws and IVs and whatnot.

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Okami_CCRN has 4 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

794 Posts; 14,436 Profile Views

Don't be discouraged, everyone has to start somewhere.

I recommend holding the skin taught with your free hand, this well help keep the vein from moving.

Visible veins are awesome but feeling them out is really important. When you think you see a vein, turn your eyes away and just feel it for a bit, let your hands do the seeing.

And lastly DO NOT go in at a steep angle, I find that if you go in at a 5-10 degree angle you will reduce the risk of going right through the vein.

Good Luck! And PRACTICE!!!!

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workingharder has 2 years experience.

308 Posts; 8,938 Profile Views

I am starting to get very frustrated with myself.

If I can't see it, I can't stick it. And I feel like half the time when I can see it, unless the vein is about a mile across, I can't hit that either. And I am totally inept at feeling most of the time.

Everyone keeps saying that it's just a matter of experience but I'm honestly starting to think that I really just...suck at blood draws and IVs and whatnot.

I know what you mean. If I were a vampire, I'd starve.

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dirtyhippiegirl has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage.

1 Follower; 1,569 Posts; 29,759 Profile Views

Poop. Spoken like someone who gets sticking people. ;)

workingharder - pretty much, yup.

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266 Posts; 7,703 Profile Views

Well I'm not an expert at sticking people, but I can manage. NGT's appear to be my kryptonite. I know there is an esophagus in their willing me to insert this tube, however lung wins out and it makes me crazy (despite my failed attempts at correct positioning of the patient in fowlers, putting the chin to the chest, and coiling my tube:madface:)

Are you feeling with your gloved hand first? I usually feel with my ungloved hand, then glove, pull the skin tight, then I use my alcohol wipe and hope that the vein did not get wind of my plan to stick it and decide to collapse or go into hiding.

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376 Posts; 7,207 Profile Views

I know how you feel, I could have written this post myself. I graduated in may, I've been working about 5 months. I've done some good IV starts and blood draws on people with obvious veins, but I've done more fails than good ones. From what I've heard it just takes time and practice. I hope that's true, I don't want to stink at this all my life!

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NickiLaughs has 11 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care.

2,375 Posts; 35,478 Profile Views

3 years LVN 3 years RN....and I still suck. We all have our own talents. I just could never feel them.

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Do-over is a ASN, RN and specializes in CICU.

1,085 Posts; 15,675 Profile Views

I am decent at IVs - sometimes I think it depends on the night... And, sometimes I surprise myself. My own rule is two pokes, then I ask someone else to try. The times I try more is when the patient is known as a very difficult start, or they are unaware of what is happening, or if it is REALLY important to get the IV (then I keep trying until the calvary arrives).

One night both gentlemen in a semi-private needed new IVs. One was at least 30 years older than the other. Started with the youngun' thinking the success would boost my confidence... Couldn't get the younger man to save my own life... Grabbed new supplies and started the line on the super-elderly dude like a champion.

I wrote all this to say... I forget... I guess that you aren't alone, and to keep trying. Watch others when you can.

FWIW - I suck at inserting Foleys. You can't be good at everything I guess.

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awheat has 2 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

33 Posts; 1,961 Profile Views

Learned this in phlebotomy class - feel for the vein with index finger of non-dominant hand - the dominant is not as sensitive to touch.

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14 Posts; 2,137 Profile Views

When I start IV's or draw blood I like to imagine I am landing an airplane on a runway to get the correct angle. Slow and steady without hesitation. Also awheat's suggestion is a great reminder that we have to develop good dexterity by using our non-dominant hand. This is important whether we are using the non dominant to hold the skin tight or placing the tubes. One way I have done this was to use a right handed mouse in my left hand and switch lights on and off with my left hand. Keep trying and know when to ask for help. It sounds like your coworkers are eager to help you learn.

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,648 Profile Views

I hope you have searched all nurses on iv'S there are 100's of tips. Still I think of more. I could have written your post a few years ago. Practice feeling your own veins or your friends or family when your at home. Use a rubber band as a tourniquet. Run your hands under warm water, see and feel them they will be huge. Before inserting the iv cath very lightly very SLIGHTLY pull retract drawbackwards with the cath held between your thumb and index funger

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brownbook has 35 years experience.

1 Follower; 3,413 Posts; 46,648 Profile Views

Sorry I hit the wrong key......draw back with the cath just before you pierce the vein right along the path of the vein, but going towards you, away from the way you would inject. , it just seems to give me a psychological edge towards a successful stick!

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