How to Make a Successful IV Stick
Brittney Wilson | NursingLink
Put That Patient in the Bed
The best possible place for a patient to be when you want to start an IV is in the bed. I’ve done it with them in a chair, and it’s possible, but it’s harder and more strain on your neck and back. And we all know how important proper body mechanics are.
The bed is the proper place for a patient during most procedures, and IV insertion is no different. You need to be able to elevate the bed into a position so you are not bending over or straining your neck to accurately access them. You also need to be able to let their arm dangle off the side of the bed and gravity is a huge help in making veins pop up.
Sit Down, Relax, and Talk With Your Patient
If at all possible, get a chair and sit down. This puts the patient and you at ease, and allows your hands to be much more steady in the process. This is a great opportunity to talk to and educate your patient about what you are doing. The conversation isn’t just a soothing distraction to your patient, it helps you focus and relax.
Pick Your Site
Look over the available locations for access and keep in mind any limitations that the patient may have:
• Did they have a mastectomy?
• Are they left or right handed?
• Do they have a dialysis shunt?
Make sure to ask the patient these questions before you attempt a site. No sense getting yourself ready to stick somewhere you can’t.
Picking where to stick the needle is usually the longest part of the process. You want to carefully look over the arms to find just the right location for a vein. Avoid the antecubital space if at all possible; the headache that it could cause for both you and your patient is a nightmare you want to avoid. The back of the hand and the forearm are usually you’re best options.