If you’re a student nurse, you know how difficult it can be to apply IV therapy in an efficient and safe manner. It’s easy to make mistakes when starting out because we don’t have the experience or knowledge yet. In this blog, I’ll give you some tips that will help you be less intimidated by IVs so that they’re easier on your nerves – and your patients’ veins.
1. Put Yourself Through Challenges While You Learn
You will get substantial experience and have the opportunity to learn without the stress of everyday life when you participate in the hospital’s IV practice and do your clinical rotations in a setting with a support nursing and medical team. As a beginner, it is normal to gravitate toward the simplest veins, often located in the elbow’s antecubital fossa (AC) pit region. While you are learning, set yourself a challenge for yourself.
The advantage of studying in a controlled setting with a support team of nurses and physicians is that you may practice beginning IVs while on your clinical rotations and during practice sessions. As a beginner, your instinct is to go for veins that are the simplest to access, often located in the elbow’s antecubital fossa (AC) pit region. However, you inject the intravenous medicine directly into the patient’s hand or forearm, that is, if you want to challenge yourself.
2. Your Best Source of Information is the Patient
Blood samples and intravenous lines are an unavoidable reality of modern life, and few people have had a greater familiarity with their bodies than patients. Asking questions before you begin may provide some useful facts.
3. Make Sure Your Patient is Well Prepared Before Treatment
When you have anxious patients, you should let them know what you’re doing and calm them while you are doing it. Do everything possible to keep the ambulance warm to avoid their veins contracting. To facilitate the passage of circulation to the patient’s veins, have them hang their arm as low as feasible. Place patients who show symptoms of shock on their backs or their stomachs.
4. Choose The Appropriate Size Needle
For diagnosing the patient, their medical history and main complaint should serve as your guide when selecting the catheter size. Gauge catheters of a size ranging from 20 to 22 are ideal for non-emergent medical procedures, and they are suitable for treating patients with blood vessel problems such as IV drug abusers, chronic steroid users, elderly patients with weak veins, or patients who have had chemotherapy.
5. Choose The Right Vein
Consider your possibilities before settling on one option. Instead of relying on your sight, use your hands to find the right vein. Although you often choose veins using your eyes, those veins are typically superficial, thin, and delicate and therefore unsuitable for intravenous access. Instead, use your fingers to feel for the engorged veins, which are at first soft to the touch but later pulsate with blood.
6. When You Are Comfortable Inserting A Catheter, You Have Perfected The Skill of Inserting A Catheter
Make a thorough scrub of your IV site using an alcohol prep pad, which will assist the veins in returning to their standard size and promote the removal of the needle. Tie the tourniquet 2-3 inches above the location you want to stop the bleeding. It’s easier to prevent a vein from rolling if you use your non-dominant hand to provide traction on the skin below the wound. Apply pressure to the person’s skin first, then push the catheter into the organ until they feel blood flashback. Then, remove the catheter from the needle, and extend it until it is positioned in the vein. Once you’ve finished, connect your saline lock, and undo the tourniquet.
7. Keep Your IV Site Secure
Additionally, place an absorbent bandage or tape over the IV to prevent accidental removal during transport or move your patient to the hospital bed.
IV insertion is a skill that takes time to perfect, but with these tips for beginners, you can be well on your way to feeling confident in the procedure. I hope this helps your infusion to go smoothly! Any IV insertion story? Share them below in the comments section!
2 thoughts on “IV Insertion Tips for Beginners”
Love reading your articles I am an RN of 36 yrs and can still learn. It is is nice to be able to refresh some of skills we may have tend to forget
Oh wow thanks for the comment, Laura! It’s my pleasure to be sharing resources with fellow nurses and nursing students!