View Full Version : Putting in an IV

09-03-2010, 02:02 AM
Let's say a nurse was coming into someone's hospital room to put them on an IV. Would they bring some sort of cart or kit with them or what?

One would think I would remember this, having been on an IV at Christmas. But apparently being in labor has blurred my memory somewhat.

09-03-2010, 02:44 AM
Where in the hospital? I ask because if this is in the ER, the equipment is probably already in there. Elsewhere, if she's already put the tubing (maxi for fluid, or mini for medication dosing) into the bag ( either 250cc, 500 or a litre, either saline, Ringer's (fancy saline) or weak sugar water (D5W)) she brings the bag with its tubing already punctured in, a roll of tape (she may always have a roll of tape in her pocket, along with a feww alcohol ((for the folks allergic to iodine))or iodine wipes), she brings a few individually packed needles that already have a catheter on them and a tourniquet (just a piece of stretchy tubing or flat stretch)and she brings a fwe red top or other sealed blood tubes if blood tests were also requested as the IV is initiated.

All this could be in a little plastic tote like one ight use to haul gardening or horse grooming implements. Or she mighta just grabbed the needle and fluid, using stuff from her pockets.

09-03-2010, 02:45 AM
It depends. Some will wheel things in on a cart. Most think that's too inefficient and come to think of it, most of those who did use a cart were being graded, not just working. Some will have a phlebotomy basket. I've mostly seen nurses using their pockets and sort of balancing the IV bags on their shoulder, holding it in place with their chins. Everyone has their own system.

09-03-2010, 03:49 AM
Awesome sauce. Thanks guys. Now that you describe it, I'm thinking my labor nurse brought everything in her pockets as well.

09-03-2010, 06:57 AM
The only time a nurse ever used a cart for IV stuff on me was in an ER where it was one giant room partitioned off by curtains. Every other nurse has used a basket or their pockets.

This is coming from someone who has been stabbed with needles more times than they like to remember.

09-03-2010, 11:24 AM
Last time I got an IV I was in the ER. Everything they needed to treat me was right in a big metal shelf against the wall. Well, except the three people it took to hold me down and the massive doses of epinephrine I needed.

When they brought out that big ass epipen my flight or fight went strait to flight. When they stopped me it went to fight. All this while my tonsils and uvula were the size of grapes. I hyperventilated.

09-03-2010, 12:45 PM
A bag with an IV solution may need a holder on a wheeled stand - if an IV is supposed to last for several hours, so a patient may carry the whole stuff with him to a bathroom...A nurse would likely need to carry the stand with her.

09-03-2010, 04:23 PM
On our Pediatric unit, we take kids into the treatment room, so they don't associate their rooms with "scary" experiences. Everything we need is in our treatment room, just like in the ER, and one of us usually gets everything ready before we bring the patient in. The bag of fluids is spiked with the tubing, so the tubing can be primed, and then hung on a pump. We lay out IV catheters (the second one is for good luck), alcohol pads for cleaning, tape, gauze, and armboards (we have to secure IV's to toddlers' hands REALLY REALLY well), NS flush syringes, empty syringes and tubes for bloodwork, and a sheet to wrap the child in. (Really strong kids get the papoose board.)

All that said, with the teenagers, we usually just do the IV in their room. We get the bag and tubing ready, roll it in on the pump, and bring the rest of the stuff to their bedside table. (And I always lay a towel under their hand, in case I make a mess.)

Nivarion, yikes, what a scary ordeal!

Opinionated Ant
09-03-2010, 04:46 PM
Wow, IV on kids must've taken getting to used to (I hate seeing little ones cry).

If I remember correctly our ER has everything in a small tray (plus extras like swabs, flushes and gauze in the rooms). An IV nurse covers the rest of the hospital and comes into patient rooms with her cart although many times she parks it at the door and brings in what she needs. After she puts in the IV the nurse hangs whatever is needed.

Tsu Dho Nimh
09-04-2010, 01:47 AM
Let's say a nurse was coming into someone's hospital room to put them on an IV. Would they bring some sort of cart or kit with them or what?

All the stuff you need - except the bag of IV fluid and the connecting tubing - now comes in a kit in a zip-close baggie. It's called an IV Start Kit. It has the needle (several sizes), the protective bandage, tape, tourniquet, etc.

There may be a cart in a hospital with IV supplies, or a basket like one place I worked where they had an "IV Basket" with all the supplies so the nurse could grab the right bag of fluid and the basket.

EMTs carry a toolbox with start kits and several bags of the common types of IV fluid.