Struggling with babies

by scribblz scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN Member Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 15 years experience.

Full disclosure: new infusion nurse here!

I started doing home infusions (IVIG mostly) about 7 months ago. I got a per diem position on the IV team at my hospital a couple months ago. Since then I try to pick up at least one 3-11 or 11-7 a week to get the hang of it. I joined AVA and also read the INS journals too. I watched every Youtube video I could find related to vascular access.

Nonetheless I am struggling with the feeling of imposter syndrome, and in particular I am struggling with toddlers and babies. I've tried the wee sight, I have been able to find a few good veins in the hands and feet, but even if I somehow get the flash the IV won't thread.

I work in a relatively small community hospital and if I get paged to the nursery it's always for a baby that's in trouble. So not only am I brand new at it, but I have anxious doctors and nurses hovering and respiratory also working them up with the lab waiting for me to get done too. I am really struggling with getting past my anxiety and doubt in my ability to put IVs in babies. I only started doing IVs in adults 7 months ago, and I put in 15-20 IVs a shift for adults but babies I get paged for maybe 2x/ month. I never refuse to try, but after a couple failures I encourage someone else to try.

Other than just keep at it and one day it'll click does anyone have any advice or tips?


speedynurse, ADN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ER, Pre-Op, PACU. 542 Posts

First, babies are not easy at all. It took me awhile to get over my fear of starting pediatric IVs and even though I am actually very proficient now, I still miss some. Especially in the super chubby babies ☺️ Vein Finders are actually very helpful to me for the babies (although oddly enough it’s useless to me in the adult difficult sticks). I personally think hands are generally easier for babies. For school age kids, AC lines may be easier. Heel warmers are helpful. Oh! And if you are trying to get blood from a 24 gauge in a baby.....don’t use a vacutainer. I like using a 1 cc syringe to draw the blood because it’s the one way I can manage to draw blood without blowing the line. Use smaller flushes if possible. NICU generally stocks these.....Oh and I like using SweetEase for the younger babies. Hope this helps!


scribblz, BSN, CNA, LPN

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion. Has 15 years experience. 137 Posts

Thank you @speedynurse I appreciate all the tips!