You're either with us... Or you're WRONG.

So there is a lot of grumbling around my ER lately. Shocker I know. But its not the usual staffing problems, drink policing, or day vs. night shift drama. Not to mention the bees in our bonnet over taking away Diet Coke and Dr Pepper (IN TEXAS) and replacing them with Pepsi. Currently, nurses are at WAR. And you are either with us. Or you're wrong.

2 months ago nurses were informed we'd be getting new IV catheters. For the one person who reads my drivel that isn't in the medical profession - that's the small or sometimes very large needle and plastic tube that we insert into your vein to make you feel all better or save your life.

It is without question the most used tool in my ER nurse toolbox.

Back in my full-time ER nurse hay-day, I could do 26 IV's a shift - easy - that's around 4000 sticks A YEAR! And for some stinking reason a person who has probably never donned scrubs or had to insert a sharp needle into another human being, decided our hospital system needed to change products.

I've been an ER nurse for eleven years. I'm not afraid of change. Any nurse that wants to thrive in ER has to be willing to work with and adapt to change. The argument over the new IV catheters comes down to safety and reducing the chance of blood exposure. Back in the early 80's my mom grumbled about gloves, ten years ago I made the transition from sharps to blunt tips, and over the last handful of years we've gone virtually needless (which makes pushing Adenosine, D50, and Mannitol unanimously un-fun) But we get it. And the over all practice hasn't effected our ability to care for patients. SO - when the nursing staff was let in on the change - and goal for improving OUR safety, I think there was a resounding 'Nifty, I can't wait to try them!'

However, a fundamental mistake was made. The folks in the ivory tower failed to include front line medical professionals in the product decision. Isn't that part of our Magnet Designation's Shared Governance???

<<GASP>>

Oh that's right. Magnet mean bupkiss....

All it would have taken was an adequate sampling of our busiest hospitals, and units with the sickest, or most diverse patient population. Administration would have observed gross dissatisfaction with this one particular product, and simply brought in another product to try. Giving the nurses options and a voice would greatly improve our satisfaction and resulted in the best care for our patients.

That argument alone is a sufficient mic-drop. But I think it's important to understand how this change has effected our patients. I'm going to go ahead and say it... I'm a good stick. Upwards of 90% Even in the era of SonoIV's and patients throwing that word around like some flipping prize to be won, I'm really good. I have the privilege to work some nurses that have attained Master Jedi status. And guess what we all now have in common.

A shitty success rate. Our one stick wonders have now become two and three stick 'Hail Mary Miracles.'

the bad IVs
the good IVs

The differences...

The challenges we are facing between the new and old catheters are simple and easily addressed by choices! The medical supply market is saturated with new products and advancements focusing on limiting blood exposure. So, the biggest question remains... Why weren't we given choices? Why wasn't it an over eager MSN/ DNP student asked to study this bitch up? I take 3 satisfaction surveys a year to give me an illusion of a voice within my workplace. But lets be honest here... Front line medical professionals wouldn't need a 'VOICE' if we were truly seen as equal contributors in the grand scheme.


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