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Developing and Sustaining an Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Intravenous Access Program for Emergency Nurses

White, Ann MSN, RN, CCNS, CEN, CPEN; Lopez, Fernando MD; Stone, Phillip RN

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal: April-June 2010 - Volume 32 - Issue 2 - p 173–188
doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e3181dbca70

Ultrasonography use in the emergency department (ED) has been well established. The use of ultrasonography that falls into the traditional practice of the emergency nurse is peripheral intravenous (IV) access. Benefits of using ultrasonography for peripheral IV access include decreasing patient throughput, cost reduction, decreasing complications, increased patient and emergency medicine physician satisfaction, and emergency nurse autonomy. Review of the literature demonstrates no discernable differences in ability and efficacy with ultrasound (US)-guided peripheral IV access when comparing data from studies about emergency medicine physicians, certified registered nurses anesthetists, emergency department technicians, physician assistants, and emergency registered nurses. In 2006, Duke University Hospital Emergency Department started a US-Guided Peripheral IV Access program for emergency nurses. Similar patient populations have been observed and the same types of complications have been encountered as described in the literature. Future goals include perfecting nurses' vein selection, and to study skill mastery with US-guided peripheral IV access.

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Duke University Hospital Department of Advanced Clinical Practice and Duke University School of Nursing (Ms White), Duke University Medical Center (Dr Lopez), and Duke University Hospital Emergency Department (Mr Stone), Durham, North Carolina.

Corresponding Author: Ann White, MSN, RN, CCNS, CEN, CPEN, Duke University Hospital, DUMC 3677, Durham, NC 27710 (

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© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.