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Is it normal that my school doesn't teach us IVs?

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Is it normal not to learn IVs in nursing school?

  1. 1. Is it normal not to learn IVs in nursing school?

    • Yes
      48
    • No
      43

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MassED has 15 years experience as a BSN and specializes in ER.

1 Article; 20,160 Visitors; 2,636 Posts

I just started nursing school and I've been told that we're not allowed to do IVs. Is this in all nursing schools or just mine? I'm worried that I won't be prepared when I get my first nursing job.

you can have a SIM lab, but as far as real world experience, usually PACU during nursing school. Otherwise, that is a skill you learn on the fly as a nurse.

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8,960 Visitors; 699 Posts

Even way back in 1975 our school did not teach IV insertions, you learned how to do them on the job.

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2,329 Visitors; 93 Posts

Most schools do not teach IV insertion for a variety of reasons. Just be happy they do not teach Foley insertion anymore.

I learned how to insert and d/c a foley during my first semester :eek:

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MassNurse24 has 4 years experience as a BSN.

1 Follower; 6,109 Visitors; 325 Posts

You usually learn IV skills on the job, not in nursing school. At my old job, the IVs and everything was the nurse's responsibility. At my current job, we have IV nurses and it's a big help.

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15,169 Visitors; 2,236 Posts

Our school pushed the skills first for students because they wanted us to have every opportunity to practice skills. To be honest, very few students have a chance to insert IVs. Most IVs are moving towards insert one and leave it till there are issues with it so a patient could potentially have 1 IV start the entire shift.

IVs are kind of a skill you need to practice and practice over and over again. Even now I am excellent at two types of IV needle types but I am horrible with the one my main job uses. I don't know why but it seems to blow and I am more likely to make a mess with the plastic over the needle locking sheaths. Push buttons and metal tip safety devices I am fine with.

I was a paramedic and we were forced to do a lot of IV starts before we could graduate so I am good with working with paramedics or new students. During nursing school, it wasn't a sweat for me to insert an IV because my role in the ER was as a paramedic so I drew blood all the time and started IVs.

To be honest, I learned not to trust anyone who is newer and says they can start IVs. One resident anesthesiologist told me he could start them so the manager said it was okay. I made sure to go over the style of catheter at the facility and I picked one out. He blew it. Oops. He had decreased confidence and wanted to watch me start a bunch of them.

Edited by applesxoranges

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J Friday has 2 years experience.

1,292 Visitors; 38 Posts

Just graduated CSULB...

IVs are usually taught in 2nd or 3rd semester, but you may not get many opportunities to start lines until you are in an ER or ICU rotation... ...depends on your hospital. Just get the needed supplies and practice on your friends (that's what we did.... shhhhh !!!) once you think you have the skill to practice safely.

You should have plenty of opportunity in your skills lab to practice on the rubber arms first....lol. My school allowed us to book times in the lab and stick away to our heart's content.

I was lucky to do my preceptorship in a Level 1 trauma center ED.. So I was starting dozens of lines a night. You'll get there. But focus on your theory, knowledge and comfort in the hospital setting first--and IV skills second.

Foley should be 1st semester in every RN school..

Edited by J Friday

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2,800 Visitors; 130 Posts

The program I'm in does still teach Foley insertion, though the nurses that teach us have said they very rarely place Foleys in their day to day work. As for IV, a previous graduate of the program I'm in said it's not taught though the program may have changed for our year. I hope it does because IV insertion seems like a skill I see nurses do very frequently.

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carolinapooh has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

17,774 Visitors; 3,577 Posts

I did an ABSN in 2006 and did Foleys and IVs. (On real live patients after doing them on mannequins in skills lab.) I even learned how to draw from a port and a PICC in skills lab (we had a fancy mannequin that had a port site and a PICC) and then did it on patients in clinicals.

I literally thought everyone did. What on earth are they doing in school if not basic skills?

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J Friday has 2 years experience.

1,292 Visitors; 38 Posts

The program I'm in does still teach Foley insertion, though the nurses that teach us have said they very rarely place Foleys in their day to day work.

Foleys are SUPER common in the hospital.... unless you are in urgent care or a dialysis clinic or something.. I do not understand that comment... everyone going into surgery has a foley, and everyone going home needs it DCd. And I believe every RN should be well trained in that area due to the severe risk of infection associated with placement--which is why we were taught it first semester. I placed countless Foleys in Med-surg, ICU, L&D (in&out), Peds, ED, etc. Unless you are in ED, Foley's insertion is way more common than starting IVs.

Of course, I am speaking in terms of hospital work, not UC or clinics.

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Em CNA2RN has 5+ years experience and specializes in LTC, LTAC, REHAB, MED.ONC.

1,638 Visitors; 12 Posts

I'm surprised some nursing schools do not teach how to insert Foley's or IV'S . I learned how to insert Foley's , do blood draws, and D/C saline looks in PCT school. At my nursing school we are going to learn Foley and IV insertion during the second quarter. We'll practice on dummies during lab. Though I'm not sure if we will be allowed to do them on actual patients during clinicals.

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bgxyrnf has 10 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Med-Tele; ED; ICU.

10,730 Visitors; 1,208 Posts

I'm surprised some nursing schools do not teach how to insert Foley's or IV'S . I learned how to insert Foley's , do blood draws, and D/C saline looks in PCT school. At my nursing school we are going to learn Foley and IV insertion during the second quarter. We'll practice on dummies during lab. Though I'm not sure if we will be allowed to do them on actual patients during clinicals.
Having learnt and taught both urinary and venous catheterization using mannequins, I don't consider them to be terribly useful because plastics and elastomers are very unlike human tissue, especially that of the majority of our patients, the majority of whom are elderly and/or significantly overweight.

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J Friday has 2 years experience.

1,292 Visitors; 38 Posts

Having learnt and taught both urinary and venous catheterization using mannequins, I don't consider them to be terribly useful because plastics and elastomers are very unlike human tissue, especially that of the majority of our patients, the majority of whom are elderly and/or significantly overweight.

I disagree. I feel that the practice of maintaining sterile field with urinary cath and steps involved, and hand mechanics involved in both are identical. Having to maintain pressure on the vein and attaching IV line and securing the line are paramount and best practiced on the dummy. Of COURSE the feel of the skin is not realistic, but the hand mechanics and practiced steps are identical. Learning how to work with one hand and maintain the field, steps to insertion, releasing the tourniquet, securing while attaching the IV line, etc is exactly the same. The skin is not realistic, but not the most important part of the learning process.

Of course, this is just my opinion, but I felt much more confident after being able to practice my mechanics on a dummy.

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