Q&A: Tips to improve IV insertion skills

Q: Do you have any tips on how to improve my IV insertion skills? A: This is one of the FAQ and often comes from new blog readers. I have blogged about this many times before but I thought I’d post it again. To some of my long time readers, this may not be new…

Q&A: How can I be “IV certified”?

Q: How can I be IV certified? If I attend an IV program, will I be IV certified? A: If I get a dollar every time I get asked this question, I would be a very rich infusion nurse!!  But seriously, the confusion about IV certification have been in existence for as long as I…

Q &A : AC PIVs

Q: I know not to but reality is, many nurses use the AC (antecubital fossa) to start and dwell a peripheral IV. It is the easiest place to find a vein so why not use it? A: The antecubital fossa is in front of the elbow, bounded laterally and medially by the humeral origins of…

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…

Q&A: PIV and Blood Return

Q: If I don’t get a blood return when checking a PIV for patency before administering an IV, does that make it unsafe to proceed? A: While verification of a blood return on a short peripheral IV is the common way to check for patency, sometimes, it is difficult to obtain a blood return in…

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…