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Nervous about venipuncture. Advice?

Nurses   (6,462 Views 7 Comments)
by juliek391 juliek391 (New Member) New Member

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I'm an LPN student in my second term currently learning about IVs, and I'm starting to really worry about how well I will do when I have to start them. I have a history of passing out when I have bloodwork done myself, but I always assumed it was because it was happening to *me*. But in class I watched some videos on starting IVs, and I felt just as dizzy and woozy as if it were being done to me. So, I suppose my question is, how do I get over my fear of venipuncture? I'm planning on asking my instructor (despite the horrible embarassment) to borrow some videos and watch them until I'm numb, but I'm really nervous about passing out in the lab. Any advice? I'd really really appreciate it.

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Your stressing too much. I wouldnt call attention to myself. you will be singled out even more and have more anxiety. Howver, dont look at it like oh Ill miss, Ill hurt the person. Look at it like a challenge to get it right. Focus on the technique and what you need to do not the blood or the person. Yes of course talking nicely to the patient is important but you have to be calm or they wont be. Most people really dont mind you practicing on them. Put the tornqt on look for the best straightest vein. Always remember to point up to the heart. Focus on the vein dont jab to deep itll infiltrate aim down far enough to get in then horizontally straighten and push in further then feed the cath. Remember everyone has different techniques. Im sure some may beg to differ with me. Do what works for you. Try different ways and different sights. Here some other things Ive learned. I dont like starts on the hand they dont last and the Iv fluids usually hurt more there forearm is great and usuallly larger veins. Also if youve got to start a Iv and you cant see any veins tell the patient to put there arm under the covers and come back. If you can. Hang the arm off the bed. MY PET PEEVE. evening and night shift dont want to start any so they tell me I flushed and retaped the IV. When I get there its never working. Dont get into the habit of leaving a bad IV for the next shift. Bad nursing. Sorry didnt mean to offend you awesome nurses doing it right on evenings and nights. I can tell you one important thing. How you approach the patient is so important. Make it like itll be done in a minute, be soft quiet gentle to the touch people will love you. NURSES QUIT jabbing our patients and for god sakes dont be one of those nurses that pulls out pushes in pulls out pushes in till the whole area is black and blue. Thats torture. would you like it. Better to try a new site. With a new kit. Good luck youll do fine. Just practice. You know the doctors call their clinics a practice because thats what they are doing practicing on patients. Okay i wrote a book. smiles.

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happybunny1970 has 6 years experience and specializes in Acute Hemodialysis, Cardiac, ICU, OR.

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It's good that you recognize this now, and can confront the problem. Ask yourself this simple question: Do I want to be a Nurse? If the answer is yes than YOU CAN DO IT!

Maybe it would help to remove yourself from the situation. I've never had a problem looking at blood or wounds, and never had a problem with having my OWN blood drawn, but I was hesitant at first because I didn't want to 'hurt' anyone. Eventually I found a way that works for me: I visualize the vessel as a tube, focus carefully an that 'tube,' and when I feel the 'pop' of the needle piercing the tube, I know I'm in, and advance carefully. I still don't want to cause anyone pain, but seeing this as a simple procedure instead of a personal invasion has helped. So not only am I able to get the vein the first time, but the technique has improved to the point that it rarely causes pain to the patient.

In short, while I see the patient as a person, I see the vein as an object -- not much different than a med tube or IV tubing. And THOSE are an easy stick.

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If its the act of poking someones vein that is bothering you, try practicing with the needle and a peice of tubing (IV tubing works but I prefer bigger, like a foley or something) Start with just the tubing, then try covering it with paper towel or something so you cannot see the actual "vein". To go really hardcore, inject some red coolaid into the tubing first. If you tie of the ends you can actually get some back pressure and may even see flash.

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CrufflerJJ has 5 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU.

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Just remember regarding IVs: better to give than to receive!

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Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

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Even though I've been a nurse for awhile I am not immune to becoming woozy at the sight of a lot of blood and body fluids. A couple of years ago in the nursing home, a doctor came to drain a large boil on a patient's arm. As I stood there watching all that ick ooze and drain, I started feeling light headed and I guess the doctor noticed because he chuckled and told me I'd better have a seat.

Boy was I embarrassed. It may always be that way for you, or maybe the more you are exposed to it the easier it will get.

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