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Archive June 2020 XXI, No. 6

Ideas That Work: Timesavers

Get a Jump on Tomorrow's IV Starts

Nikki Williams, RN, CNOR
ON A ROLL Store supplies needed to start IVs in a towel to save valuable time as you're preparing patients for surgery.

High-volume surgery centers need to take advantage of any operational enhancements they can to stay ahead of the game. That's why we've become proactive about IV starts by assembling everything we need to start a line as a grab-and-go kit. Whenever our nurses have free time — usually in the afternoon when the caseload is starting to wind down — they put together the kits for the next day's cases. The kit includes a pack from our vendor that contains a Tegaderm dressing, tourniquet and alcohol sponge, to which we add a set of gloves, an IV catheter and a syringe. The contents of the kit are then rolled up in a towel, which serves a dual purpose, because our nurses like to use the towel to position the patient's arm. It's not a laborious task to assemble these kits. Sometimes two nurses work in tandem on them — one places all the pieces on the towel, while the other rolls up the towel and stores it in a cubby in one of our 10 pre-op bays. For each case, the nurse simply grabs a blanket, the towel with the IV start kit and the patient's chart, which are all kept in the same area.

Nikki Williams, RN, CNOR
Lakeland (Fla.) Surgical & Diagnostic Center

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