Prob with ultrasound guided lines


  • Specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics. Has 40 years experience.

Anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to get over the coordination problem of starting IV watching a screen vs the patient. I can't seem to get coordinated enough to get the line started looking at the monitor, I take my eyes off the screen and look at the arm and wham I'm lost.

So other than keep practicing anyone else have the same prob and have suggestions?

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

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

YES it does take some time to get the coordination down. The habit at looking at the arm to start an IV or access a vein is difficult to break. This is what I discovered worked for me.

1. You must have great control of the transducer. So do what you need to do to get yourself and the patient in a good and comfortable position. The extra few minutes you spend adjusting towels under the arm and elevating the bed to just the right level will be well worth it. I prefer to be leaning over the vein or access point as opposed to having the bed so high and feeling right on top of everything. You MUST get good control of the transducer so it is not slipping after it is covered and the vein re-located,hold the probe at the bottom with you hand resting against the patients skin...this really helps to stabilize it. When you are learning it is good to use the feature that allows you to place a line or dots down the screen that line up to the midline of the transducer head. You have to be line up perfectly and trust that you are to be comfortable taking your eyes of the patient and back to the screen.

2. You have to have your eyes on the screen at the time of venipuncture,but if you need to look down for any reason....STOP advancing the needle if you have not accessed the vein yet. Its kind of like driving...keep your eyes on the road...but you still have to work the break and the gas.

3. Watch another clinician and see how they do it and ask for advice. Watch more than one clinicain b/c people do things a little differently sometimes. Once I access the vein I have a unique way of getting the transducer out of the way so I can thread the wire without it in my way. I noticed on our team I am the only one that does it this way. So try different things to see what works for you.

If you could be very specific about what any other problems you are having with it I may be able to give you more tips

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