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Peripheral IV's

Hi yall! I'm a new grad still on my 3rd week of orientation on a med/surg/tele floor.

Today I started my first IV's with a success rate of 4 out of 6 or so.

I have watched a couple of nurses start IVs and everyone has a different technique as to what works for them.

My pet peave with this experience was that a couple of times a vein that had previously been jumping out at me would disappear when I needed it to be visible.

I know that this is one of those things where practice is the only way to get good at it.

Anyone have any advice...you know...a secret technique that makes it work for you every time??

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:biere: Cheers to us new nurses who are trying to become good at what we do.

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JRapha'sRN

Specializes in med/surg, rural, ER.

Good job starting your first IVs!! :balloons: It is one of my favorite skills to do! Instant satisfaction (or disappointment...) The best thing I can recommend is to keep on trying. My first year as an RN I made it a point to let the other nurses on my med-surg unit know that I wanted IV experience. I got plenty of experience that year and now, several years later, I am the one other nurses come to when we have a tough stick. :)

To decrease the incidence of those disappearing veins make sure you don't do a hesitant stick--put that needle right through the skin, don't do it slowly! As your confidence and skills increase the veins won't disappear as often. There is no way to avoid it completely.

Good luck as you learn and have fun developing your skills!

My pet peave with this experience was that a couple of times a vein that had previously been jumping out at me would disappear when I needed it to be visible.

I know that this is one of those things where practice is the only way to get good at it.

Anyone have any advice...you know...a secret technique that makes it work for you every time??

Here's what works for me when I see that nice big bouncy vein - stretch the skin over it, and 'anchor' it down with your thumb whilst smoothly inserting your needle :wink2:

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

So, the vein just totally disappeared. Hum. That shouldn't happen. Now, don't get mad, but are you sure you were looking at a vein before the tourniquet went on?

One of the greatest skills you should learn to develop is the ability to "feel" for veins. Once you train your fingers to feel that bounce of an engorged vein when the tourniquet is on and are able to trace it's path by feel all you have to do is make sure you point the needle in the right direction and stick.

I was just thinking that if the vein is so fragile that it's disppearing with a tourniquet you could try accessing the vein without a tourniquet (you can do that, you know). My guess is that a vein that disappears like that is probably not a good one to use.

i totally second what the above poster said! It is much more important to be able to feel a vein than see it in general. people always look at me like i am crazy when i am feeling around somewhere that they can't see anything. i also moved to a higher percentage of very dark skinned people in the population-so none of their veins are generally visible....unless u get that young guy with them sticking way out! another trick is to look at the area at a different angle, wipe with an alcohol or betadine, sometimes it shines from an angle. good luck, and u are off to a great start! even with the veins that u can see, really start feeling for those suckers.

pricklypear

Specializes in Telemetry, ICU, Resource Pool, Dialysis.

Oh yes, they do disappear!!!! Had it happen lots of times. Yes, they were veins. I'm not sure where they went, but I think they were able to slip down or behind something. JRapha is totally correct, you have to jab those slippery viens quickly before they get away. That's when they seem to vanish, it you get into the skin without getting the vein in the same motion. Sometimes a side approach works if you can anchor it with a finger on the other side so it doesn't go sideways.

meownsmile, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

You can wrap the arm with a warm blanket from the blanket warmer for about 10 min. to help dilate the veins,, and instead of using the tourniquet, try using the blood pressure cuff.

Sometimes adjusting the pressure can help make the veins show up a bit better by not occluding circulation completely.

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