Starting IV tricks - page 2

As a new grad, I am trying to get experience trying to start IV's myself before automatically calling IV therapy. I've noticed that some nurses on my floor won't even attempt to try it. This is a... Read More

  1. by   NurseL427
    I need a link to a site for starting Iv's, even the Butterfly Cath's also. It has been 6 years since I started IV's. (I've been in the Psych Med field most recently) I will be starting a New Job soon, and my main function will be to start IV's. I'm kind of nervous about it, and i don't want to look like i've never done it before. I use to work in the OR, and was fairly good at it back then. Thanks for all your help in advance.
  2. by   traumahawk99
    i'm happy to say that i seem to be over the hump on starting iv's. i like to start an iv in the forearm. for my money, that's the best place to get a stick. the forearm is a more comfortable spot than the hand and especially the a/c. so it's the gold standard.

    my defining moment came when i realized that all i had to do is put one hand under the forearm of the person i'm trying to stick. use this hand to exert enough tension on the arm to steady the vein. i wish i had a picture of this to post here.

    it's much better not to dig, and i find it helps if i stick it through the skin with a quick decisive motion. i use the insytes, and all you've got to do is get your flash, flick the cathetar, and slide it in. if it won't slide all the way in easily, try to float the cathetar in. you'll know then whether you've got it or not. if flushes good and you advance it, you're in good. the trick is going in at the right angle. (again, i wish i had a picture).

    there's no shame in missing your first stick. after all, the reason the ER stuck them in the a/c is because it was the easy way out. if you do it right, you can go for another if you need to.

    a few months ago, i'd go through 5 or 6 people missing 2 sticks every time. it was a horrible dry spell. but since i've changed my technique, now i walk into a room knowing i'm going to get my stick, and i do get it. of the last ten patient's i've tried to start, i've gotton nine, and the other was impossible for everyone and got a pic line the next day.

    it's the most incredible change and it does wonders for your confidence because now you're not fumbling and wasting 30 minutes without getting anything accomplished. it's in, out, and the iv is running.

    keep experimenting and get those sticks. i learned the concepts, but it took the actual sticks to get it down. after you start getting sticks, you'll progress rapidly as you learn the hand tricks to finish up the iv and have it secured and running. take your time and tape it down. i use a second opsite and then tape.

    what was "oh no!" is now "I'm going to get it.".

    so hang in there. keep trying and you'll find the way that works for you
    Last edit by traumahawk99 on Dec 17, '06
  3. by   LauraBell
    Don't tie the tourniquiet (sp?) too tight.
  4. by   Comanche_1
    Make sure you have a good anchor on the skin. This will prevent the vein from rolling and move as much. Doing so will flatten the vein and make it a little more difficult for you to see. Also trying near areas where the veins fork out stabilizes veins.
  5. by   vamedic4
    Some things I've learned in the last 12 years of starting IVs...hope this helps....

  6. by   peds77
    Using a rubberband instead of a tourniquette woeks really well for adults use two....
  7. by   chip193
    Quote from traumahawk99
    there's no shame in missing your first stick. after all, the reason the ER stuck them in the a/c is because it was the easy way out. if you do it right, you can go for another if you need to.
    Not always...sometimes it's all that's there, before hydration.

    Please watch your generalizations.
  8. by   CaLLaCoDe
    :d one trick a very experienced nurse from canada told me is to begin your iv at the fork of a vein...where two veins join and become one...thus you avoid any valves that might be a hindrance to your iv start.

    using an alcohol swab to gently massage the vein also helps the vein to dialate for an easier stick.

    thanks to all these other posters above; i copied all these tips to word perfect and will probably show these tricks to work buddies....greatly appreciate all the wonderful tips!!!
  9. by   sbivrn
    As an IV team member and used to nurses too afraid to give it a try, I must agree most with Mandolyn's advise. Practice, practice, practice. Request a day in Endoscopy. You'll start more IV's in one day there than you'll ever start on the floor!

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