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: Insulin and PICCs

Q: What kind of IV solutions can be given through a PICC line? Is it safe to give Humolog insulin or should I start another IV line? A:  PICC is short for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is a central vascular access device (CVAD) inserted into an extremity and advanced in the venous system until…

Q&A: PICC line dressing – clean or sterile?

Q: Can you please let me know if a PICC line dressing can be a clean procedure or does it have to be sterile? A:  First, I will direct you to your organization’s policy and procedure on central vascular access device (CVAD) dressing change procedure to determine the procedure to follow. If you can’t locate…

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…

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…

Q&A – Implanted Venous Ports

Recently, I have had a few questions regarding implanted ports so I decided to post it here in the spirit of sharing and learning . Q:  A patient asked:  why is it that sometimes my nurse wears a mask to access my port and sometimes they don’t? Should they or should they not wear a…

It’s Q&A Time…..

On a regular basis, I get questions from readers and from Twitter colleagues. Here are some of the Q’s and my A’s which I thought I’d blog about it in the spirit of sharing and learning. 1. Vancomycin Q: We give Vancomycin IV on a regular basis through an IV site in the arm at…

Nurses and Off Label Drug Use

At a recent meeting,  I was asked by an RN what her liability is if she administered an approved intravenous drug for an non-labeled indication prescribed by a physician to her patient and does she have the right to refuse to give the treatment even with the patient consent? A very interesting question and one that…

Giving thanks once again..

I must say this year really went by so fast and it’s Thanksgiving once again.  Thanksgiving Day… a day filled with turkey/stuffing, pumpkin pie, an abundance of coma inducing foods, watching the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade” on TV,  football,  annoying jokes from the in-laws and oops  don’t forget the reason for this day… being grateful, humble, and…

VAD Stabilization

According to the INS Standards of Practice, stabilization of vascular access devices shall be used to preserve the integrity of the access device, minimize catheter movement at the hub, and prevent catheter dislodgment and loss of access. A catheter stabilization device is a device/system specifically designed and engineered to control movement at the catheter hub, thereby decreasing catheter movement…