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How to Make a Successful IV Stick

How to Make a Successful IV Stick

Brittney Wilson | NursingLink

Everyday as a nurse is an opportunity to experience little victories. These are small moments when you accomplish a task, fix a problem, or even when you complete a standard intervention. There are a few things in nursing that fail to get your endorphins pumping and don’t make you feel accomplished.

And one of those little victories is a successful IV stick.

Not everyone gets excited about IV insertion. Some nurses think they just don’t have a knack for it and will often let more experienced or eager nurses stick their patients instead. It’s understandable to have certain apprehensions about starting INTs, especially if you have not done very many. The thought of potentially having to stick a patient multiple times in order to get access, is frustrating and discouraging, not to mention, frightening for the patient. But fear not, just like any technical nursing procedure, you can improve your technique and yield many more successful first attempts.

Here are some tips that will have you carrying a 20 gauge (or two) at all times.

Prepare Your Supplies and Have Extra on Hand

One of the first things I learned was to always bring an extra INT with you when you go for a stick. A nurse told me once that a patient asked her why she had two needles with her and she answered, “for luck!” Since then, I’ve made it a point to carry at least one extra with me: for luck. The times that I didn’t carry the spare were the times that I needed one. Plus, having an extra on hand boosts your confidence because you know you have a backup, making it more likely that you’ll get it right the first time.

Be Confident

Walk into the room and know you are going to get that vein on the first try. Visualize a big, fat, juicy vein sitting right on top of that hand that is just waiting to be stuck. Hold you head high and know that you are competent. You’ve handled far more difficult situations that this one all the time. You got this.

Next: Put That Patient in the Bed >>


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