What is it about?

Nurses commonly place short peripheral catheters (SPC) within peripheral veins to provide vital fluids and medications to patients, but this procedure is often associated with pain. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a structured protocol used by a vascular access team to traditional methods of placing venous access devices by bedside nurses on insertional pain among medical surgical patients experiencing SPC placement. During this quantitative study, 201 adults were randomly assigned to have their SPCs placed by VAT using ultrasound-guided insertion and vapo-coolant or insertion by the bedside nurse. Pain scores were significantly lower when SPCs were placed by the VAT (p=0.021). Satisfaction with the SPC placement experience was also significantly better when placement was done by the VAT (X2=0.648, p=0.008).

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Why is it important?

The evidence generated in this study suggests that ultrasound guidance is a part of an effective SPC insertion protocol for reducing pain, but not the whole story. VAT placement of SPCs was characterized by adherence to a consistent protocol that worked. There was little consistency in methods used by bedside nurses whose efforts seemed often driven by the over-riding goal of gaining intravenous access in a narrow window of time. In this situation, investment in VAT teams who take responsibility for placing all peripheral IVs in a hospital may be worthwhile from the perspective of patient satisfaction.

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This page is a summary of: Pain Perception of a Structured Vascular Access Team Approach to Short Peripheral Catheter (SPC) Placement Compared to SPC Placement by Bedside Nurses, Journal of Infusion Nursing, January 2020, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/nan.0000000000000352.
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