Here's how we used to find a difficult vein. If a floor nurse could not get an IV in, they asked one of their colleagues to try. If their colleague could not find the impossible to locate vein, they contacted an ICU nurse. If the ICU nurse couldn't get one, sometimes an ER nurse or a flight nurse would try. If they still couldn't get an IV, then I would be paged to ask if they could get an order for an anesthesiologist to try. And if the anesthesiologist couldn't figure out how to find a difficult vein, we got a PICC line with the PICC nurse or with the radiologist or I placed a central line if the patient could not wait for a PICC line.
That's how hospitals used to find a difficult IV. How do they find one now? If you're on the floor, you use one of these cheaper vein lights to find the difficult vein and place your IV. Some hospitals even have these $6,000 Star Trek looking vein finder gadgets for those dehydrated nursing home patients and cracked out meth heads. Watch this crazy video below and be amazed!
Perhaps this blonde nurse below needs a little help with the vein light finder, as this Happy Hospitalist original medical ecard helps to explain:
"I've blown more veins in my life than you've... Never mind."
Jim Valvano, RN - "Dont' give up. Don't ever give up on your IV start."
Winston Churchill, RN - "Never, never, never give up on an IV start."
Some of this post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk.