Medical language use during peripheral intravenous catheter insertion

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Medical language (e.g. transfusion, needle, blood, and chemo) can trigger emotions and memories; potentially jeopardising procedural outcomes for word-sensitised patients” Mackereth and Tomlinson (2016).

Abstract:

Cannulation can trigger anxieties in patients, and practitioners are often under pressure to achieve placement on the first attempt. Needles can deliver life-saving chemotherapies but can also be linked with side effects. This ‘needing but not wanting’ a cannula can remind patients that they are ill and dependent on venous access.

Our purpose in writing this column is to support nurses and allied health professionals to find imaginative ways to put patients at ease and encourage veins to become ‘enlarged’, ‘engorged’ and ‘dilated’. A starting point has to be choice of words when speaking about a proposed procedure. Medical language (e.g. transfusion, needle, blood, and chemo) can trigger emotions and memories; potentially jeopardising procedural outcomes for word-sensitised patients.

Reference:

Mackereth, P. and Tomlinson, L. (2016) Considering the relationship between the needle, patient and cannulator. British Journal of Nursing, 25(Sup2), pp. S27–S28.

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