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Just stop with the rolling veins.

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I start a lot of IVs. On all kinds of people.

Patients frequently tell me "I have rolling veins". Meaning some nurse(s) missed, and blamed the patient.

There are many conditions that can make an IV difficult. Obesity, IV drug abuse for example. But what the heck is a rolling vein? Of course they can move a bit, that's why you anchor them. And, even if they did roll, unless it rolls out of the patients arm, follow it. How far can it roll?

So knock it off. If you miss, you miss. We all miss. Better luck next time. 90% of the time somebody else gets it using the same tools as you.

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

hherrn said:
I start a lot of IVs. On all kinds of people.

Patients frequently tell me "I have rolling veins". Meaning some nurse(s) missed, and blamed the patient.

There are many conditions that can make an IV difficult. Obesity, IV drug abuse for example. But what the heck is a rolling vein? Of course they can move a bit, that's why you anchor them. And, even if they did roll, unless it rolls out of the patients arm, follow it. How far can it roll?

So knock it off. If you miss, you miss. We all miss. Better luck next time. 90% of the time somebody else gets it using the same tools as you.

I guess it's better than saying, "Sorry, but you're really fat."?

I guess I'm addition to feeling bad about missing, we should also feel bad for remarking the vein rolled/ moved/got away from us... not sure what the point of this post was. Telling the patient, "sorry, the vein rolled," seems pretty harmless to me. It might be different if nurses were telling people they have horrible veins and should request a central line when receiving care.

Eh... maybe it's because I am only a fair IV starter that I have a bit more empathy for the nurse in that situation.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

The truth is many veins do roll and are sclerotic and have thick walls.You try to select ones that are soft,full and not at areas of flexi on but often they are all problematic.I have created a trick for traction that always works .Also you must use a larger gauge if the veins have thick walls otherwise it is very difficult to puncture the walls.If I misjudge this I take out the 22 gauge and grab a 20 or 18 and it makes a huge difference in my ability to get through the wall.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Yeah. So I guess instead one should say "Sorry...I just really suck at this today..."?

Truth is, veins move even if well anchored sometimes. I have literally had a vein get "chased" by the point of the needle. It happens.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

not.done.yet said:
Yeah. So I guess instead one should say "Sorry...I just really suck at this today..."?.

That's what I say, though not in those exact words 🙂

Though truth be told, I do suck at starting IVs. My success rate is around 50%. There's not many IV opportunities in psych so I don't get to practice as much as I'd like to.

I don't blame the patient or their veins, other than saying that they might be a difficult stick. Actually, most of them will tell me upfront if they're hard to stick or not, and several even point out what veins I should try.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Welp mine DO roll. To the point where it takes multiple sticks to get an IV in me, most times.

Stop with the judging and listen. Sometimes they know better than we do, how best to cannulate their veins. And I find I do better when I DO have a patient tell me they are a "tough stick" and "My veins roll".

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

I'm terrible at IV sticks. Terrible. I have found on occasion though that I have a vein roll away from me. It's literally right there, I feel it, go in, and it's gone!!!

I hate starting iv or doing peripheral sticks. I know eventually I'll get better, but now it's a struggle. Doing an ABG and getting arterial blood, I can get the first try, venous, not so much......

I don't specifically say, Oh your vein rolled. But they may overhear me say it to the other nurse I grab to see if they can start it.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

...and please, please SEARCH. Change tourniquet position. Go to upper shoulder. Lower hand. Wonder why this "limb alert" bracelet (PICC line, removed 3 weeks ago with no events; lumpectomy 10 years ago; etc) is still here.

I tell people that I will spend a helluva of time basically petting and kneading their hands and then stick once, and that's how it usually happens.

And also, master "floating" technique. It does miracles on LOLs with spiredy and rollery veins.

MHDNURSE, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

Sour Lemon said:
I guess it's better than saying, "Sorry, but you're really fat."?

:roflmao:

MHDNURSE, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community, and School Health. Has 21 years experience.

It's been a few years since I have had to draw blood (I'm a school nurse now) but when I worked in Peds I did blood draws all the time. I always ask the parent before a draw where the phlebotomists have the best success. Parents often appreciated being asked and many times, they were spot on with where they told me to draw from.

SmilingBluEyes said:
Welp mine DO roll. To the point where it takes multiple sticks to get an IV in me, most times.

Stop with the judging and listen. Sometimes they know better than we do, how best to cannulate their veins. And I find I do better when I DO have a patient tell me they are a "tough stick" and "My veins roll".

I do listen. In fact , I ask- "Is there anything that has worked well, or really badly in the past?"

I am often the person others get when they miss. And, like everybody else, I periodically miss. And when I do, one of my co-workers usually gets it, which means the problem is not the "rolling" vein, it's me.

For those of you who do experience rolling veins- when well anchored, how far do they generally roll? Once you see their direction of travel, and have an idea of their traveling range, do you find it easier on the next try?