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Slide Notes

Quick tips to make your sticks better. All tips gathered from interviews of NYP ED nurses.
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EM Bound

Published on Nov 20, 2015

A collection of IV Insertion tips from NYP ED Nurses


EM Bound

IV Insertion Tips from NYP Columbia Nurses
Quick tips to make your sticks better. All tips gathered from interviews of NYP ED nurses.

Change Position

Often overlooked, remember that you can change the position of the patient so that you can sit, or their vein is at a reasonable level for you to access it. This can increase your success rate because you won't be operating at your best if you have to contort yourself to work on the vein. It will also spare you if you have to do a lot of IVs

Don't Just See a Vein

Photo by apdk

Feel the Vein

Sometimes finding a vein is difficult, especially if the patient has dark skin color. Learn to rely on your sense of touch to find a good vein.


Pull back (distally) on the skin with your free hand, especially on large superficial veins that are likely to roll. This helps anchor the vein in place.
Photo by Berts @idar

Find a Junction

A "Y" junction of veins coming together can stabilize the more proximal straight portion and keep it from rolling.

Advance the Needle

Because the needle is longer than the cannula, always advance a few millimeters further after flashback to make sure you get the plastic into the vein.
Photo by ne014x

Drop Your Angle

Despite learning that a 45 degree is best for IV's, almost all nurses asked said that it is way too steep. They all recommended 10-15 degrees of needle to skin.
Photo by somegeekintn

Listen to the Patient

A lot of times a patient who has had multiple IVs will be able to tell you where to try. Listen to them.
Photo by mikecogh

Fail. And move on.

The number one thing all the nurses suggested for the beginner? Allow yourself to fail. Move on. Try again. You won't be entrusted to place an IV in a critical situation. Cut yourself a break, regroup, and go at it again.

Worst comes to worst, these nurses know what they're doing and can pull you out of a tight spot.
Photo by me'nthedogs

Thank you to all the NYP nurses who took time out of their shift to teach sub-I's!!