A patient satisfaction survey by Press Ganey Associates identifies that consistently one of the top ten complaints today relates to the venipuncture skills of clinicians. As is often the case, patients are labeled, and as if to warn clinicians call themselves, “a hard stick”. Patients and clinicians alike realize multiple sticks are painful, cause bruising, and increase anxiety for both parties.
In addition, multiple attempts increase costs for the facility by taking away valuable nursing time not to mention expenses for equipment, and increasing risks for infection, infiltration, and phlebitis resulting in possible longer lengths of stay. And if able to access the “hard stick”, how large is the needle gauge, how many lines can be placed in patients requiring multiple accesses, and how soon before any and all must be replaced?
The above scenario is not outrageous and occurs far too frequently. When IV access is difficult, Vascular Access Management (VAM) can access a large vessel for long term multiple accesses via a peripheral inserted central catheter (PICC) typically within hours of the request. With an accuracy rate of 99.98%, both patient and institutional/agency satisfaction is high and continually achieved.
The nurses of VAM are experts at inserting PICCs as well as their care and maintenance. It is, simply, our one and only specialty. Historically community hospitals trained nurses to insert PICC lines in addition to maintaining daily responsibilities. This was coined “PICC, stick, and run”. Many nurses were trained but few were competencied, and even fewer gained proficiency as demand and time didn’t allow for it.
This is not the case with VAM. PICC lines are all we do for multiple facilities. This allows each nurse to place several lines producing our exceptional accuracy rate.