Outcomes of a Simplified Ultrasound-Guided Intravenous Training Course for Emergency Nurses

Sarah Feinsmith*, Ryan Huebinger, Michael Pitts, Emily Baran, Sheila Haas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Introduction: Various medical or anatomical conditions can lead to difficult intravenous access (DIVA) in the emergency department. It was hypothesized that developing an emergency nurse-training program could reduce IV attempts in the emergency department, improving throughput and patient care. Methods: Emergency nurses completed a 4-hour ultrasound-guided intravenous (USGIV) access course and achieved competency after 10 successful supervised USGIV insertions on patients. Data were collected from a nurse-completed USGIV log and the electronic medical record. Experience levels, rates of completion, rates of success, and the effects on attempts of IV access were analyzed. Results: Thirty-four emergency nurses enrolled in the study over 9 months, and 12 (35%) developed competency. Successful cannulation rates improved from 81% for procedure attempts 1 to 10, to 96% for attempts 21 to 30. Overall IV attempts by nurses and physicians (n = 24,471) decreased by 2%, P = 0.013. DIVA IV attempts (n = 1,366) decreased by 7%, P = 0.003. Discussion: USGIV training programs can decrease total number of IV attempts. A simplified and economical USGIV training program for emergency nurses can be successful and may be dependent on emergency nurse experience levels and initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175.e2
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Competency
  • Difficult intravenous access
  • Economical
  • Intravenous attempts
  • Outcomes
  • Ultrasound-guided intravenous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency


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