Why do nurses use the same alcohol swab over and over?

I know, this may come as a surprise to all of you, but the truth is, I have seen many nurses (even those highly trained and specialized) both in hospitals and outpatient settings, use the same alcohol swab over and over. Imagine this scenario where a nurse is ready to withdraw medication from several vials.…

Exhibit Hall Experience INS 2014

At every INS Annual Meeting, the exhibit hall is the one of the highlights of the week.  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.…

Q&A: IO and Blood Transfusion

Q:  A twitter colleague posted:  Can you give blood through an IO? A:  IO as in intraosseous access. An old concept that is now getting more attention as an alternate access for infusion therapy in emergent and non-emergent situations. IO access uses the intraosseous space that contains thousands of non-collapsible intertwined blood vessels that absorbs any fluids.…

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…