From left: IV team members Maribeth Coolbrith, Lorna Holmes, Barbara Sosnicki and Sasha DuBois

The Intravenous Therapy (IV) team comprises nurses who specialize in the placement and management of peripheral IV (PIV) catheters and other vascular access devices, as well as vein preservation.

In 2019, the team reviewed the PIV catheter replacement policy, which stated that all steel needles and short IV catheters should remain in place no more than 4 days.

After discussing the associated unpleasant patient experience and reviewing frequent PIV routine re-sites, the team found that a high number of IVs were changed per policy instead of based on patient symptoms.

The IV nurses conducted a literature review and identified evidence-based practices, including recommendations to replace PIVs only when clinically indicated, according to the Journal of Infusion Nursing: Infusion Standards of Practice.

In checking with other hospitals, the team found that most no longer followed a time-based practice for routine PIV change.

Based on their research and expertise, the team members updated the policy (IVT _01) to reflect that PIV catheter replacement occurs when clinically indicated, including but not limited to, infiltration, erythema, phlebitis and pain.

The policy changes were approved by the Standards, Policies and Procedures Committee and the Nurse Executive Board.

Why It’s Magnet: Magnet requires one example of clinical nurses’ use of evidence-based practice to revise an existing practice within the organization as part of the New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements (NK3b) component of the Magnet model. It’s who we are.

Nurses who participated in these efforts included: Sharon Kohler, MS, RN, CRNI; Barbara Sosnicki, BSN, RN, CRNI; Lorna Holmes, BSN, RN, CRNI; Maribeth Coolbrith, BSN, RN, VA-BC; and Sasha DuBois, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, nursing director.

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