5 Steps for Safe IV Insertion

While you were in nursing school, did you fully master IV insertion?

I know I didn’t.

It took me a lot of continuing education and practice to attain real proficiency in this vital skill.

Administering fluids and medication is one of the most important nursing skills for patient care.

Before getting started, ensure you have the suitable materials right on hand.

  • Tourniquet
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Needle gauge
  • Identification stickers
  • Gauze
  • Tape
  • Tegaderm

Only once everything you need is on hand, you can start the IV insertion procedure.

  1. Choose the correct IV gauge.
    There are benefits and disadvantages to each size. A larger gauge can administer medicine faster, but it’s often more challenging to insert and can cause more pain to the patient.
  2. Prep the patient for IV insertion.
    Wash your hands. Use the tourniquet on the patient’s arm to help make veins more visible. Then use an antiseptic swab, either chlorhexidine (CHG) or alcohol, to clean the insertion area thoroughly.
  3. Prepare the IV line and set up the IV bag.
    Hang the bag from something elevated and fill the tubing with saline solution. Watch for any signs of bubbles in the IV line and remove them by gently tapping or squeezing the line. Then open the IV and remove the needle cap.
  4. Insert the IV needle.
    Hold the needle in your dominant hand at a 10 to 30-degree angle. With your non-dominant hand, hold the skin taught over the vein so it doesn’t move. The IV should only touch the patient’s skin upon insertion. Insert.Before pressing the activation button to retract the needle fully, remove the tourniquet.
  5. Secure the IV line.
    You can either use a dressing like Tegaderm or gauze and tape to hold the IV in place. You can even wrap the IV area with Coban if you have a more restless patient, such as a small child.

Intravenous insertion is one of the most essential practices in a nurse’s trajectory.

Make sure you have the proper knowledge and experience to advance your career.

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