Ultrasound-guided vascular access by emergency room nurses



Adhikari, S., Schmier, C. and Marx, J. (2015) Focused simulation training: emergency department nurses’ confidence and comfort level in performing ultrasound-guided vascular access. The Journal of Vascular Access. June 20th. [epub ahead of print].


STUDY OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to assess Emergency Department (ED) nurses’ confidence, comfort level, and competency in performing ultrasound-guided vascular access after a focused ultrasound simulation training session.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study at an academic medical center. A simulation-based ultrasound training module was used to train ED nurses in ultrasound-guided intravenous (IV) access. The training module consisted of didactics followed by hands-on practice on human models and Blue Phantom ultrasound training block model. All subjects completed a questionnaire after completing the training module.

RESULTS: A total of 40 nurses were enrolled. All subjects successfully demonstrated competency during the training session by identifying upper extremity sonographic vascular anatomy on a human model and performing real-time ultrasound-guided IV access on Blue Phantom ultrasound training block model. On a scale of 1-10, the average confidence level in performing the ultrasound-guided vascular access was 6.9 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 6.3-7.46], with 98% (95% CI, 92-102%) reporting no difficulty in recognizing upper limb vascular anatomy on ultrasound. Ninety-two percent (95% CI, 84-100%) agreed that focused training in ultrasound-guided IV access was adequate to learn the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: After a focused simulation training session, ED nurses had a high level of comfort using ultrasound for vascular access. Despite having a moderate degree of confidence, ED nurses were accurate in identifying vascular anatomy and performing ultrasound-guided vascular access.

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