IV tips and tricks

Specialties Infusion


Hi all,

I am starting to compile a list of tips and tricks concerning starting venipuncture. The goal is to share experiences and tricks of the trade.

Tips e.g. on how to find that elusive "best vein", would be greatly appreciated. (and if you have a few that are not to be taken entirely serious those would be welcome as well).

Please answer me directly - no need to clutter up the board with this. I will post the text once it is finished.

Thanks in advance!

Specializes in Adult Cardiac surgical.

I personally LOVE my transilluminator (Wee-sight)

Specializes in ED (Level 1, Pediatric), ICU/CCU/STICU.

The pointy end goes in first... :)

Just palpate, and imagine where you want that IV tip to end up. Then stick it. Simple enough in theory, but with practice, you will develop your own technique.

Specializes in medical oncology, emergency.

I'm not a CRNA, but I am an ER nurse and start LOTS of IVs...my tips...learn to use your finger tips, not just your eyes. There are a lot of veins that you can feel, but may not see. Rubbing the skin with an alcohol wipe where you think there is a vein reduces friction of your finger tips across the skin and makes it easier to feel the vein. This just takes practice. Hot packs help - I like to wrap both arms (finger tip to armpit) with hot wet towels wrapped in blue chux. This helps the patients relax and they vasodiolate. (I call it the "ah" technique). On small kids, don't let the parents hold the child in their lap - you can't control their movement, and you'll loose that line the moment you see blood; lie the child supine and have the parent comfort the child. Learn to float in a line - if you had blood back initially, but don't after you think you have advanced the catheter, pull the catheter back while aspirating with a partially filled flush until blood flashback. Then try to reinsert the catheter using a gentle twisting motion. If it still won't go, remove the tourniquet and retry with the same twisting motion while injecting a little saline (gently). Yes, you may have punctured the back of the vein and may need to apply some pressure to stop that bleeding, but the catheter tip lies proximal to the puncture and the line will not infiltrate.

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