Patient teaching: Short peripheral I.V. catheters.


hen patients are admitted to the hospital or an outpatient unit, most will need a peripheral venous access device.1-3 Some common questions are, “Why do I need an I.V.?” and “How long will I need it?” Nurses are responsible for ensuring safe patient outcomes that reduce disability and cut costs.4 They should provide education on caring for, monitoring, and preventing injury to the peripheral venous access site. Nurses need to inform patients about treatment plans that may include I.V. fluids, medications, or blood transfusions and why they’re needed. They should explain that they follow best practices and hospital policies to ensure safe care of patients’ I.V. access. (See Infusion Nurses Society recommendations for short peripheral catheters.) If a patient tells the nurse of past unsuccessful attempts to insert an I.V. catheter or other problems related to I.V. therapy, the nurse should obtain a history of these experiences, such as difficulties with particular access sites and allergies, including tape or antiseptics. The nurse should inform the patient that hand dominance, skin condition, joint mobility, and any abnormalities of the extremity are assessed before catheter insertion. The nurse must teach the patient that using an arm board can stabilize a site near an area of flexion and advise the patient to keep the I.V. access site clean and dry at all times, make sure the site is covered before bathing, and use hand wipes for hand hygiene. Patients should always be included in the care plan to ensure their active participation.5 The nurse should tell the patient that he or she will monitor the insertion site frequently, including its appearance and the condition of the dressing. The patient should know that the nurse will palpate the site to determine if it’s edematous or tender.6 The patient should be instructed to report any pain or discomfort to the nurse. Finally, the patient should know that a nurse will remove the I.V. catheter when I.V. therapy is discontinued or if any problems occur, such as edema.6 Nurses should discuss and demonstrate precautions taken to prevent injury and infection. For example, in the presence of the patient, the nurse should perform hand hygiene with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub whenever inserting or accessing an I.V. catheter, and emphasize the importance of hand hygiene to the patient.5 The patient needs to understand how a skin antiseptic used to prepare the site, such as chlorhexidine, will minimize infection risks.5 The patient should see the nurse scrub the access Sharon Spencer, MSN, RN, and Patricia Gilliam, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, OCN

DOI: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000472767.11354.a6

Cite this paper

@article{Spencer2015PatientTS, title={Patient teaching: Short peripheral I.V. catheters.}, author={Sharon A. Spencer and Patricia P Gilliam}, journal={Nursing management}, year={2015}, volume={46 11}, pages={31-2} }