IV pump placement/Room set up


  • Specializes in Critical Care, ER. Has 11 years experience.

This is a cross post but I want to hit everyone here so sorry. I am wondering about how you set up your rooms in regards to IV pump placement? We have a group that is being very vocal because is has been the past practice before we got our new unit with big rooms to put the vent under the monitor and the IV pumps on the opposite side of the bed.

I argue that it is more appropriate to place them on the side where the line is so things are not running across the patient and it's easier to trace your lines. Plus you don't have to put in extension tubings for pressure lines that way. There's plenty of room so it's not an issure if pumps are on the same side as the vent now.

What do your units do? Does anyone have any leads to any research or best practice links to support either practice? Thanks!


57 Posts

Specializes in ICU/CVU. Has 8 years experience.

In our unit, the beds are parallel to the door. The vents are always between the door and the bed. Pumps are the same side as the access. This is, of course, not policy, but just the way it is. If a pump is on the opposite side of the access, therefore having lines running over the patient, I rearrange them a.s.a.p

joeyzstj, LPN

163 Posts

Specializes in CVICU, ICU, RRT, CVPACU.

This is funny to me becasue we have people in my unit that get all bent out of shape when I put a pump on the side of the bed as opposed to the head of the bed. I agree with you. I would place the pump on the side of the line so that it doesnt get ripped out.


134 Posts

Specializes in neuro, critical care, open heart.. Has 14 years experience.

I, personally, like to have the IV pumps on the same side as the access and the vent on the oppposite side. I have seen nurses that want pumps vents and everything else on the same side, they say it's easier on them. I think it's a disaster waiting to happen! Sometimes it's hard to keep from having IV lines draped across the pt, especially when they only have peripheral lines and 3 different drips going in.


103 Posts

Specializes in CCRN-CMC-CSC: CTICU, MICU, SICU, TRAUMA. Has 2 years experience.

It's nursing preference in my unit, not rule based... but you need to have a rationale... I usually make sure that I'll have access to my infusion ports on my tubing in the event of a code, with room for the respiratory therapist to work, with room for a nurse doing compressions, room for the Zoll and room for someone to push meds with access to lines....if that means having the pump on the opposite side of catheter insertion that's fine with me... but typically I prefer it on the same side....I also like to be able to see the front of the pumps from outside the room... if there are procedures to be done... say the pt. is getting peg or a bronchoscopy, then I want to be able to titrate my meds while the doc is working without having to compete with a sterile table set up...so that is going to determine where my pump is going...

Reno1978, BSN, RN

1,133 Posts

Specializes in SRNA. Has 6 years experience.

Our rooms are set up so the bed is beneath the monitor. Vents are usually to the right of the head of the bed and IV pumps are usually on the left. This is sometimes awkward and there are times when both IV pumps and vents are on the same side of the room. Thankfully our rooms are pretty large and this doesn't present a problem usually.

For example, tonight I had a vented pt whose only access was an 18g in his left forearm. So, for him, the IV pump was on the same side of the bed as the vent. This patient was A&O and able to move his upper extremities, although weakly, so he would have gotten tangled up in his IV tubing if it was coming from the opposite side of the bed with extra slack to reach his left arm. If the patient was immobile, I probably wouldn't think twice about adding extension tubing and having the IV pole on the opposite side of the bed. I guess it just depends on the patient how I like my room set up.

The only thing that sort of bothers me is when the art line bag and transducer is on one side of the bed and the tubing extends across to the other side of the bed where the site is, but that is few and far between. I hate not being within reaching distance to flush the line after drawing blood!


66 Posts

Specializes in cardiac ICU. Has 8 years experience.

Running IV lines across a patient isn't a safe thing to do. I've seen patients get disoriented and pull on the lines, resulting in the IV pole falling into the bed with them - and sometimes hitting them. The "vent side" just happens to be wherever the RT sets it up, although we try to have it on the opposite side from central lines if there are multiple drips. The kicker is that we are VISICU monitored. So we are to orient the pumps so that the person in eICU can camera in and read the pumps.

On a tangent, we also had a chronic vent patient manage to grasp his tube feed line and pull the pole into the bed with him. We heard the crash and walked in to find him with the tubing in his hands and stretched tightly across his own throat - deliberately. He went on "suicide precautions" at that point. It kinda points out that we need to arrange equipment around the bed with patient safety in mind, and then factor in our own preferences.

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