Q&A: PICC vs Midline

Q: What is difference between picc line and midline. How can you tell the difference if one is not the one who inserted it? A: By definition, the difference is: PICC is short for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a central vascular access device inserted into an extremity and advanced in the venous system until…

Q&A: Medical Assistants and IV therapy

Q: Can medical assistants in office based infusion settings insert peripheral IVs and administer IV medications? A: This is a question I get weekly.  I have posted a previous blog about this topic and replied privately to individuals asking the question. But I think it’s time to post my response again: Medical assistants (MAs)as defined…

Twice is enough…

The practice criteria in the INS standard 35 on vascular access site preparation and device placement states: “No more than 2 attempts at vascular access placement should be made by any 1 nurse, as multiple unsuccessful attempts limit future vascular access, and cause patients unnecessary pain. Patients with difficult vascular access require a careful assessment…

Looking for RNs inserting PIVs

If you are a registered nurse inserting short peripheral IVs , would you be interested in answering a short survey on peripheral IVs? The survey is open to registered nurses, whether you are part of an IVteam/PICC/Vascular access team or not, and actively inserting short peripheral IVs in all healthcare settings. The survey results will be integrated in…

Exhibit Hall Experience: INS 2013

This is the part of the INS Annual meeting that I always look forward to.  I am very grateful to all the vendors who were there whether they had something new to show or not because their products contribute greatly to patient care and safety. Their willingness to educate nurses is always appreciated. Just like…

40 years of INS

The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) is celebrating its 40th year as the premier organization for infusion nurses. Through the years, this organization has gone through many changes, a name change from National Intravenous Therapy Association (NITA) , and yes, even the logos. But one thing remains the same, it continues to set the standards for…

Q&A: Bevel up or down

I am always delighted to get IV questions from colleagues on social networks. Occasionally, I post them on this blog in the spirit of learning. Here’s one on IV needle insertion. Q: Tell me do you insert a needle up or down? A: I am assuming the question you are asking pertains to the bevel…

IV manual flow regulators

These are devices designed to regulate the flow of fluid instead of using the roller clamp on the IV tubing. IV manual flow regulators are either part of the IV tubing or added on. Since these are regulated manually, these flow regulators are not “infusion pumps”. It does not function like electronic infusion pumps and…

PIV Catheter Gauge selection

The goal when selecting the proper gauge of an peripheral IV catheter is to ensure that the best device meets the patient’s needs.  This means taking into consideration many factors such as: Prescribed therapy/type of solution Duration of treatment Peripheral vein availability/vein integrity Diagnosis /Age Known complications of the device The Infusion Nurses Society standards of practice states…

Today’s inspiration…

In case you missed it just like I did, spare a few minutes and watch this short video on how a 15 year old  freshman in high school developed a paper sensor that could detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer in five minutes for as little as 3 cents.     There is hope in the…