Pediatric Peripheral Intravenous Access: Does Nursing Experience and Competence Really Make a Difference?

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Abstract

Placement of peripheral pediatric intravenous (IV) catheters in infants and children is difficult, even in skilled hands. This large, 2-institution prospective study used real-time independent observations to describe the effect of nurse experience and competence on the length of time and the number of attempts to establish a successful IV placement in the hospitalized child. Data from a convenience sample of 592 evaluable patients and 1135 venipunctures showed that successful IV placements required an average of 2 venipunctures over 28 minutes. Although nurse experience and self-rated competence were correlated with attaining a successful IV placement, time of day, predicted difficulty of the venipuncture, and cooperativeness of the child appeared to be better predictors of success.

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