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…

Q&A: Syringe re-use

I get questions from colleagues on social networks, while I don’t post all of the questions , there are times when I do post for learning purposes. Here’s one on “syringe re-use”. Q: It boggles my mind, how someone highly trained, a nurse, can use a single use syringe  over and over and sometimes on multiple patients.…

RNs mixing IV medications

A nurse colleague started a new job as an infusion nurse for a physician office based practice offering infusion services (non chemo) to their patients. After a few days, the nurse left the new job for the following reasons:  Another RN in the office routinely mixes IV medication for the infusion nurses to administer. The IV medication…

In case you are the IV patient…

I have now confirmed my blog readers are not only healthcare providers but are ‘actual’ patients. I get questions/emails/comments from them and they made it known to me that they are watching and noticing what we do to their venous access!!  LOL.. So in the spirit of sharing and learning, without revealing anything about them,…

R-E-S-P-E-C-T….PIV

Peripheral IV (PIV) placement is one of the common IV procedures performed by nurses (and other healthcare practitioners)  in hospitals and other healthcare settings, including long-term care, outpatient, and home care.  Perhaps because of its simplicity, many nurses have underestimated the risks involved with PIV placement, care and maintenance. I often hear them say, “it’s just a…

Poll Results: Gloves vs no gloves during vein palpation

The poll results are in: 1.  Do you think an RN should wear gloves when palpating for veins prior to venipuncture? Yes:  47 Votes    42% No:  65 Votes     58% 112 readers took the poll, and 58% said they think an RN should not wear gloves when palpating veins prior to venipuncture. 47% said they…

Cheaper at the Doctor’s Office

I came across this interesting article on a study that shows chemo costs less in doctor’s offices. Chemotherapy Treatment in Hospitals Costs 24% more than Treatment in Physician’s Offices The study found that care for patients treated in a physician’s office is less expensive regardless of the length of the chemotherapy duration. The average chemotherapy…