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IV Tips: How I Went From Zero to IV Hero



Hey, nurse fam!




Let me be real with you: IVs were a real weak spot for me for months. I felt so self-conscious and thought that I was less than as a nurse because I didn’t know how to put my IVs well. Improving my skills meant always putting myself in a position to place IVs. I would volunteer to place IVs for my coworkers and always attempt in codes or on patient who were less alert.


But now, I’ve got my groove, I’ve become the new IV queen and I’m here to share some great IV tips with you guys!


1️ Know the sizes and their use: This will help you pick the most appropriate IV for your patient. I personally prefer placing 20 G just because it’s stable, can tolerate all infusions, and can be used for IV contrast if needed.


  • 14G, 16G, 18G: Used for trauma, rapid blood transfusion, surgery

  • 20G: Most infusions, Rapid fluid replacement, Trauma, Routine blood transfusion (this is the minimum size for IV contrast solution)

  • 22G: Most infusions, Neonate, Pediatric, Older adults, Routine blood transfusion

  • 24G: Most infusions, Neonate, Pediatric, Older adults, Routine blood transfusion, Neonate or Pediatric blood transfusion



2️ Location matters: Be mindful of the location that you’re placing an IV. For example, AC IVs may be uncomfortable for people who like to bend their elbow. Find a place that has great vasculature and is also comfortable to the patient. Always ask where they would prefer their IV to be placed.


3️ Poke less, look more: Spend more time looking than poking blindly. Find a vein that’s both long and straight in order to remain stable and tolerate a fluid infusion.


4️PREPARE: Prep your supplies (extension set, flush, dressing) prior to beginning IV placement. Fumbling while placing an IV can only add nerves to the situation and can cause you to even accidentally dislodge your freshly placed IV.


5️ Keep the skin tight: Pull the skin taut and stabilize the vein with your non-dominant hand prior to insertion to prevent rolling on veins.


6️Look for the flash: When you see the flash of blood, lower your angle, advance the needle slightly so that you can thread the catheter smoothly into the lumen of the vein.


Hope these tricks help you become an IV master! To me, nothing is more satisfying than placing a fresh IV (#nurseporn)!



With Love,

Nurse Kay




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