Inserting an Intravenous (IV) Line

Starting IVs is one of my favorite nursing skills! I'm not quite sure what it is, but there is something very rewarding about getting an IV in on the first try. It takes some practice to get the feel of it, but don't worry! With a little coaching and repetition, anyone can be good at starting IVs. We usually start 18 or 20 gauge IVs in our patients. If a patient is going to be receiving a large amount of fluids, blood products, or IV contrast, you really want an 18 gauge IV catheter. Any bigger than an 18 gauge seems like it is just for bragging rights if you ask me!

Here are two videos by the same ER nurse explaining about how to insert IVs. The first video is more about the technique and preparation behind starting an IV. The second is the actual insertion and techniques for drawing blood. Good luck starting your IVs!

Part I: How to start an IV as explained by an ER nurse with more than 20 years experience. He talks in particular about the different gauges of IV catheters and why they are used. For actual IV insertion, look at the next video.

Part II: This shows the RN actually inserting the IV line. He gives tips about starting IVs and how to draw blood after insertion is complete.