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 : 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: 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.…

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…

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,…

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…