standard of how many IV attempts

Nurses Safety


I have been assigned the task to determine what is the standard of how many IV attempts is appropriate for one nurse (ex. 2 attempts per patient is most common in my experience) anyone have any links or sites I can find validation for # of attempts?

Specializes in med/surg, cardiac/telemetry, hospice.

I can't offer any links, but where I come from, 2 strikes and you're OUT. (Although I know a few *achemm!* that will try a 3rd time under extenuating circumstances.)


940 Posts

general rule is 2 attempts for first nurse,2 attempts for second nurse, then one attempt for best stick in house. 5 attempts total uless it is an emergency


4 Posts

in my meager experience of 5 facilities in 2 states, it was 2 sticks per nurse....unless you were the ony one and it was an emergency. There is no actual policy in place where i am now, but we have had newborns needing lines (not able to access the umbilical) and an experienced nurse stuck until successful. (5 times total)....she was the best in house.


693 Posts

Where I work, we have an unoffical rule of 3 atttempts maximum per nurse. Since we mainly do IV therapy and transfusions,, though, we can't just stop trying. I can't remember a time when we've had more than three nurses try. It's rare that none of us is successful, but if that happens, we arrange for radiology to place a line.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Australia - two attempts andyou are out.Usually we then call the resident and they do not have a limit. Anyone say pincushion??? Actually not ofteen it goes that far.


4 Posts

At my facility there is no rule reguarding the # of sticks. Personally I will try two times and grab "mom"(CHARGE NURSE) to help. However, depending on the nurse she may tell you to go do it. Whenb she does this 95% of the time the job gets done.

I do 2 tries as well.. then I call in someone I know is really good...

to get the job done :)

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

Oh shuckins

I never miss.

Specializes in CCU (Coronary Care); Clinical Research.

Two and I'm done, then I call in an RN who is the best on my shift...if he/she can't get it and I really need one, we keep trying, each person getting two sticks...if it can wait until am, i call IV therapy, usually someone can it sooner than later...

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

2 attempts standard here, too. When I was a student I saw one nurse on a peds unit (with another present holding the child down) attempt 7 sticks. This was on a child who was severely developmentally disabled and could not speak for herself. In retrospect, I wish I had said something at the time besides just to my clinical instructor.

Uptoherern, RN

337 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Room.

it depends on if they are conscious

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