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Changes in nurses' knowledge and clinical practice in managing local IV complications following an education intervention

21 April 2022
14 min read
Volume 31 · Issue 8

Abstract

Background:

Peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) are the most common invasive route for the rapid administration of medication and fluids. The care of PVC sites after cannulation can pose challenges depending on nurses' level of knowledge and practice.

Aim:

To transfer nurses' knowledge into practice on preventing common local complications of intravenous (IV) therapy.

Design:

A quasi-experimental study was undertaken.

Methods:

A convenience sample of nurses from surgical and medical wards of a university hospital (n=64) was used. Pre- and post-education intervention levels of nurses' knowledge, practice and maintenance of PVCs, and the use of a visual infusion phlebitis scale to identify potential complications were assessed.

Results:

The effectiveness of the course was statistically significant for all three parameters (P<0.001).

Conclusion:

The study highlighted the importance of ongoing education based on the latest available evidence to enable nurses to improve their knowledge and clinical practice with regard to PVC care and associated complications.

In hospitals, peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) are the most prevalent and commonly used intravenous (IV) route for administering fluids and medications throughout the body quickly. Although PVC insertion is relatively straightforward, it can be associated with complications such as extravascular infiltration, thrombophlebitis, haematoma, catheter-associated bloodstream infections, and air embolism (Nyamuryekung'e et al, 2021).

The incidence of PVC failure has been reported as 89.5 per 1000 catheter days (Takahashi et al, 2020): this and/or associated local complications consequently require prompt intervention. It is therefore often necessary to replace a PVC, a process that must adhere to local and international guidelines on the use and management of IV devices (Zhang et al, 2016; Ben Abdelaziz et al, 2017; Gorski et al 2017; Blanco-Mavillard et al, 2019; Gorski et al, 2021). The Infusion Nurses Society (INS) publishes Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice every 5 years, with the latest edition published last year (Gorski et al, 2021)—these are seen as the benchmark for good practice.

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