Patient experiences of peripheral IV insertion in hospital


The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of patients’ experiences of PVC insertion” Larsen et al (2017).

Adult medical and surgical patients admitted to tertiary hospitals regularly have peripheral venous catheters (PVCs) inserted for their treatment. Anecdotally, patients report varying levels of pain and anxiety during the insertion procedure; however, lived experiences of patients are not well documented in the literature.

The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of patients’ experiences of PVC insertion. Some 10 participants were purposively sampled for semi-structured interviews, from the medical and surgical wards at a tertiary hospital in Queensland, Australia. Four key themes developed from the interview data: communication between the patient and the inserter; technique of device insertion; competence of the inserter; and location of the device. These themes informed practical ways that nurses might improve the patient experience, including: consultation with patients regarding device insertion preferences; siting the PVC in locations other than the antecubital fossa and hand; ensuring experienced and confident inserters are available to insert PVCs.


Larsen, E., Keogh, S., Marsh, N. and Rickard, C. (2017) Experiences of peripheral IV insertion in hospital: a qualitative study. British Journal of Nursing. 26(19), p.S18–S25.

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