IV experience

by 3692nurse 3692nurse (New) New

I have been an ICU nurse for 4 years. Started nursing career as LPN, got my BSN and went straight into the ICU. I was full time nights, than part time, and currently am PRN. I had 2 kids during that time. My question is I need some more IV experience, blood draws, placing IVs. I always run behind on my shift Everytime I run into IV issues. I try my 2 sticks, but never get results. R there any classes or a floor I could shadow to help me get more proficient and have better confidence? I did speak with my manager but no results have occurred. Even if I needed to pay to take a class as long as not to expensive.





dianah, ASN

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 47 years experience. 9 Articles; 3,417 Posts

Perhaps you could speak with the manager of the Short Stay Unit (or whatever it's called at your facility), to shadow there?  They start IVs for all the scheduled out-patient surgeries.

I got most of my experience working in Radiology.  We started all the IVs for two CT scans, with at least 20 patients scheduled each day, for each scanner = at least 40 IVs daily. 

Let us know what you find out, and I hope you can arrange something helpful.




Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC. Has 10 years experience. 4 Articles; 2,201 Posts

My hospital has a dedicated IV team, so most floor nurses don't place IVs. I've been in critical care for 3 1/2 years and it's still my least proficient skill. What about following someone in the ED, same day surgery or OB? I don't know of any classes, it's just a practice thing I think. Good luck!

kbrn2002, ADN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 20 years experience. 3,662 Posts

IV placement policies vary so much place to place. Some hospitals or some floors within the hospital all nurses  do their own. Some places have a dedicated IV team so floor nurses rarely if ever place IV's. 

Where I live both hospital systems use IV teams, student nurses were absolutely never allowed to place them so the only IV training I ever had was a fake arm with beet juice in the fake veins for blood.  I never have worked in acute care so in 25+ years of nursing I've placed exactly one IV. Weird, huh? 

If you are in a  place where you need to master the skill start with watching some tutorials, there's probably plenty on Youtube. You could then ask to shadow a day or even just a few hours on a unit where nurses place IV's frequently. Pre-surgery or an infusion clinic seem like good options for places with tons of standard IV placement so you wouldn't be observing those IV's in a setting where getting that IV in is a hurried, stressful situations. 

For blood draws  same thing with finding some video tutorials. Then ask to shadow the lab for a little while. I'm sure the phlebotomists there would be happy to teach a nurse a few tricks. 



Specializes in Nurse Anesthesiology. Has 17 years experience. 261 Posts

Best way to learn IVs is to do them.  Do as many as you can.  Tell all the RNs around you each shift if they have an IV that you would like to do them.  Sad to say but best patients to learn on are the ones who are already sedated.