Procedural Nursing at Vanderbilt

IV Team

Criteria for Consulting the IV Team

In general, unit nurses are expected to attempt to establish a line with two sticks before consulting the IV Team.  More experienced staff may be asked on the unit to attempt.  The IV Team consists of one nurse from 6am - 11:30 am, two nurses from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, and one nurse from 4:30 pm until 10:00 pm.  Frequently a backlog of requests occurs given the 1200 -1500 requests per month.  The following triage system is used to prioritize the work:

  • First priority is for IV access for patients receiving drugs that affect hemodynamic stability, scheduled antibiotics, or IV pain medications.
  • Second priority is  to patients without existing IV access.
  • Third priority is for phlebotomy.  The average wait time for phlebotomy is currently 90 minutes.  Every attempt should be made to accomplish phlebotomy by unit personnel without reliance on IV team members.  Only very difficult to stick patients should require an IV therapy nurse to perform this procedure. 

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INS Standards updated

Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, 2006, may be ordered from the Infusion Nurses Society (INS) Web site: http://www.ins1.org/

This page was last updated September 14, 2007 and is maintained by