Pediatric Staff Education

  1. :spin:Hello I recently took the pediatric resource nurse position at my small community hospital. I am wondering what everyone does for staff education related to pediatrics, specifically regarding IVs. Any information would be helpful for if anyone has a good website that woudl be much appreciated.
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    Joined: Nov '07; Posts: 4; Likes: 5


  3. by   ErNrsLynzzie
    Information regarding initiating or monitoring? What exactly are you looking for??
  4. by   pedcentral
    Education regarding starting pediatric IVs, as well as charting/monitoring. Any ideas?
  5. by   ErNrsLynzzie
    As far as initiating, we do lots of practice on anything from arm boards to wax pieces first. The pediatric patient is no still target so we ensure the staff member is comfortable with the equipment first. The staff member is asked to demonstrate "in the air" kinda the use of all the equipment (since not all is alike)
    Then, their preceptor accompanies them into the room and assists in the start (after they have watched several first). It is essential to ALSO teach holding techniques. The IV start is usually as good as the holder. Distraction techniques and pre-teaching appropriate to age is essential. Continued assistance and guidance is provided until the staff member is comfortable and can prove their skill. Usually teenagers are the first patient - working down the line to infants. We're a designated pediatric ER so we have lots of opportunities, you may need to go by what opportunity occurs when.
    We have a child-life team that helps us out immensely. I have found having parents assist in the ER setting is sometimes required but if it can be avoided is much better. It is too rushed and upsetting to them.

    Monitoring - we use an hourly check sheet. It has:
    Time - Fluids Running + Rate - IV site - Site Condition (normal, warm, edematous, painful, etc.) - and Initials

    This ensures the site is checked hourly d/t the high incidence of IVs going bad in children. It also provides a double check of IV fluids to ensure the proper ones are hanging.

    Simple tips like cutting a tourniquet in half long-ways for an infant, scalp veins in newborns are NOT your best/first site, explaining the "needle comes out-only a small McDonalds straw stays in" and "giving the body a drink" - all of these work FAR better than coming in and not explaining to children what is about to happen. And tape is your friend with peds. Don't be afraid to use tape but ensure they do not cover up the site unless it's clear (like a tegaderm) since IVs often go bad in peds.

    What else are you looking to present - i just kinda did an overview of how we do it.
  6. by   vamedic4
    Quote from pedcentral
    :spin:Hello I recently took the pediatric resource nurse position at my small community hospital. I am wondering what everyone does for staff education related to pediatrics, specifically regarding IVs. Any information would be helpful for if anyone has a good website that woudl be much appreciated.
    First, take into account your population and their developmental state. Obviously you're not going to need to explain to a 4 day old that he needs an IV...but you will have to explain to the parents so you have to include parent education in your plan.
    IV education at my hospital is done by the people who do the IVs (me).

    This topic is very broad, and if you do a search you'll find tons of helpful posts here at

    As I've started IVs here in Dallas for the better part of twelve years and probably a few thousand IVs, here's what I know.

    1. If the baby's asleep and wakes when you flush the's probably bad.
    2. If the left arm has an IV infusing and it's twice the size of the right arm (assuming no preexisting conditions)'s probably bad. But check the TAPE JOB. Too tight on the tape will send an IV south very quickly.
    3. If you're having trouble with an IV, break it down - take the tape off CAREFULLY and try to find out if the catheter is still in the vein - or in the skin for that matter. Sometimes over time the catheter can kink, especially with active children. Reflush, retape.
    4. Flush your IVs frequently when establishing them. Both right when you hook up your tubing, and during the taping/securing process. You have no idea how strong little arms and hands can be and they can wiggle that catheter out of that vein like nobody's business.
    5. During an attempt at an IV on a little one, the most important person in the room are the patients (*for obvious reasons) and the person HOLDING the baby still. An effective helper is the one who does ALL THE WORK and gets no credit. An ineffective helper is the one who doesn't hold on tight enough. You have to pretty well immobilize little ones - and that can be difficult. Swaddle the baby and leave out only the extremity you're working on, if possible.
    6. CHECK YOUR IVs FREQUENTLY!! "It looked fine this morning but I didn't flush it..." Duh...and you graduated from nursing school??
    7. Try your best not to "overtape" your site. It is a royal PITA to tear down all that tape 20 minutes / 2 days after you started it. Less is long as it's secure.
    8. Use a padded board to immobizilize the extremity. Tape securely but not tight enough to occlude circulation - it's easy to do (taping too tightly, that is).
    9. Double side your tape for patients with sensitive skin (babies) / patients with tons of hair. In this instance, use your tape mostly on the skin directly around the insertion site, if you need it at all. We use a Tegaderm and silk tape for a chevron, if necessary.
    10. Discretion is necessary when establishing an IV. Don't put a 24 gauge in a kid who's 10 years old, has great veins, and is gonna get gentamycin for a week. Use common sense. If he can tolerate a 22, or even a 20, give it to him.
    11. Use whatever pre IV anesthetics your institution allows. We have cold spray and EMLA cream. Both work well, but be advised EMLA has a tendency to make veins disappear -and it gives the skin a "waxy" feel, which can make palpating a vein you found 1 hour earlier a very tricky ordeal.
    12. IF THE SITE IS COLD, YOU'RE GONNA BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND AN IV. Warm the area up with a warm pack first if necessary. Cold extremities = no veins.
    13. Start distally. Look for IVs in the patients hands before moving up the arm. Try to avoid the AC if at all possible, unless it's critical and you need fast access, or if the child just doesn't have anything happens more often than you know.
    14. Don't put an IV in a 16 year old girl's right hand IF SHE'S RIGHT HANDED unless you just can't find anything anywhere else. This goes for ALL children/ adults who are at the age where the dominant hand does most of the work. Also true of infants who suck "that thumb". Again, unless you have no other options.
    15. DON'T EVER walk in and introduce yourself as the IV EXPERT. Kharma has a way of biting your ass. Let someone else build you up - that way your performance speaks for itself.
    16. Be aware that some infusions, like Potassium, sting when infusing, especially to small veins. Antibiotics like gentamycin are caustic to veins as well. Keep this in mind when assessing your patient's response to therapy.
    17. Look everywhere for the best access. A large vein in the saph is better than a small vein in the hand, at least for the purposes of the attempt. It's far easier to hit a large target with a small needle than to push a big catheter thru a tiny vein.
    18. If your patient may require fast acting meds (Adenosine), establish an IV as close to the heart as possible. With infants and adults this can be a big deal, since there's maybe 12 inches the med has to travel, but with adults and older teens it becomes very important. When you've got a med with a half life of 12 matters bigtime.
    19. If you're going to be the one starting the IVs and you don't have much experience...practice on your coworkers before you come in and stick my child. Also, if you have the option - start with the healthier kids before moving on to attempts on the truly sick ones. That way I don't have to worry about you blowing 2 veins I could have used for access.
    20. Last but not least, know your limits!!! I can't stress this enough! If you stick twice and aren't successful - FIND SOMEONE ELSE. Preferably someone with more experience/ or someone you trust.
    Don't let your pride get in the way. REMEMBER - YOU'RE THERE FOR THE PATIENT - what would you do if it were YOUR child?

    Have a great day.

  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Great advice very clearly stated. Good job!
  8. by   peds.rn.2003
    I found this thread while doing some research on securing pediatric IVs. We are preparing for our annual procedure fair and I would like your permission to use your list of do's and don'ts for our IV display. I will be focusing primarily on pediatric IVs but some of your suggestions are also applicable to the adult units.

    Thanks for your insight. I hope you will allow me to share