IV course fears

  1. We will be starting our IV certification course in a couple of weeks, and as nervous as I was about passing lab check-offs and clinicals, this is the one thing that instills the most fear in me. It's a serious thing- entering directly into a patient's VEINS. And painful, too. I just had an IV myself recently.
    I have fears of not being able to find a vein and of just poking the needle right through it, or having false starts and causing the patient undue pain. In our course we will be practicing with specialized kits and dummies- due to ethical considerations our program no longer has students practice on each other...so the very first time I start an IV on a REAL person it will be an actual patient in a clinical setting.

    Any advice and words of wisdom are appreciated!
  2. Visit MrsCuoco profile page

    About MrsCuoco

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 126; Likes: 123


  3. by   student forever
    Giving injections has been my number one fear also. I am watching the nurses at work everytime I can and that has helped a lot.
  4. by   gaonsi
    Just do it. You might mess up the first time, but you might get it. Most patients are very accommodating. Take your time finding the vein. You'll be fine!
  5. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Start by controlling your self-talk. The more nervous you are, the more nervous you'll make the patient which provokes a stress response which causes peripheral vasoconstriction.

    We all had to start somewhere and it can be frustrating in the beginning but it's really not that hard - most of the time.

    I did fine with starts in nursing school but I had a terrible time when I first started working. I finally turned the corner by imagining myself doing what the experienced folks do - calmly looking around while I'm prepping, talking to the patient, etc - and visualizing myself being successful... and very soon I was.

    Starting lines is mostly a matter of practice and until you start doing it every day, you'll probably not be terribly good at it.
  6. by   kkostelnikPN
    so idk if this is a dumb question.. but in my NCLEX review they said LPNs are not to touch IV's ever only to monitor or hang IV piggybacks.... I thought LPN's were unable to start IV's?
  7. by   akulahawkRN
    Quote from kkostelnikPN
    so idk if this is a dumb question.. but in my NCLEX review they said LPNs are not to touch IV's ever only to monitor or hang IV piggybacks.... I thought LPN's were unable to start IV's?
    Typically, with the right class, an LPN can start IVs. Starting an IV is really not that hard, once you get the hang of it. Probably the hardest thing that a student has to do when starting an IV is dispense with the mindset that starting an IV is actually hard. Sometimes it's not easy though... In my medical career I probably started more than a few hundred IVs and it really just boils down to following the steps. You'll learn those. You'll get to the point where you'll do it all smoothly and with little wasted effort. Just like anything else you've had to learn to do in nursing.

    They teach a lot of people how to start an IV. In reality, starting an IV is nothing more than a monkey skill. Once you know how to do it, really anyone can do it. The people that are very good at it tend to do it a lot, it's like any other skill: the more you do it the better you are at it. Quite frankly I could probably teach my 10-year-old how to do it, and do it well. The point is not to make you think that you can't do it or that you are incapable, rather to impress upon you that in the grand scheme of things, this is something that is not that hard, that you should not worry about it and, as the Nike commercial says: "Just Do It."

    Don't worry. You can do this and with practice, you can get very good at starting IVs. As a patient, I really don't care who starts the IV, as long as it's done right. From the patient side of things, the most painful part of the whole process is actually piercing the skin. Once you get under the dermis, it's usually not painful at all if you have to fish for a little bit. Just get under the skin quickly, then aim for the vein.

    Above all: don't stress. It's not rocket surgery.
  8. by   PinkHoyt
    We just started our IV course on Tuesday. So far we have went over what we as LPNs can and cannot do, learned about the different types of IV Therapy and calculating drip rates. I guess this coming week we are going to start practicing on the dummy arms. I'm kind of nervous, but at the same time I'm so excited to learn this!!
  9. by   Mewsin
    Quote from kkostelnikPN
    so idk if this is a dumb question.. but in my NCLEX review they said LPNs are not to touch IV's ever only to monitor or hang IV piggybacks.... I thought LPN's were unable to start IV's?
    This must depend on where you live. IV course is included in my LPN program.
  10. by   kkostelnikPN
    I live in Indiana. We were told in our nclex review that lpns are not physically aloud to start iv's. it's not within our scope of practice. We can only monitor fluids already infusing or hang iv piggybacks. I think I need to b slightly more clear. It's not that I'm scared to start an iv I'm saying that I was told that's literally not within our scope of practice and my brother in law is an lpn in the er for 10 yrs and when this new change was put into effect he was no longer able to start iv's on his pts
  11. by   Stoogesfan
    I live in Missouri. Here LPNs are legally allowed to start IVs but some facilities still only allow RNs to do so. I completed my IV certification in October. I haven't done one since then tho so I'm still nervous about doing it.
  12. by   1busymaniam
    I have been the Lvn x 20 years. Iv starts get easier with frequency. The hardest part for me was making sure I had all my necessary supplies at the bedside. It sucks when you get the cannula in the vein and you can't cap it off or secure it. Only did that once tho. Watch some youtube videos.
  13. by   MrsCuoco
    I live in Colorado, and as an LPN, I will not be able to legally start an IV, give IV push meds or even clear a line with saline, but I can administer IV piggybacks and second rounds of abiox as well as minitor patients receiving IV therapy. Theres other rules I'm not sure of yet.

    *However*...in our university's career ladder model, in order to qualify to progress to getting my associate's degree (RN) I must have 30 IV starts under my belt. These will be done either as a student in a clinical setting or as a working LPN "under" the licence of an RN and supervised by him or her.

    In our LPN program, we get taught many skills we will not be able to do as LPNs, but I'm glad of it, because it will make further education that much less stressful.