BACKGROUND: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are increasingly used in hospitalized patients. Yet, little is known about the vascular access nurses who often place them.
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METHODS: We conducted a Web-based survey to assess vascular access nursing experience, practice, knowledge, and beliefs related to PICC insertion and care in 47 Michigan hospitals.
RESULTS: The response rate was 81% (172 received invitations, 140 completed the survey). More than half of all respondents (58%) reported placing PICCs for ≥5 years, and 23% had obtained dedicated vascular access certification. The most common reported indications for PICC insertion included intravenous antibiotics, difficult venous access, and chemotherapy. Many respondents (46%) reported placing a PICC in a patient receiving dialysis; however, 91% of these respondents reported receiving approval from nephrology prior to insertion. Almost all respondents (91%) used ultrasound to find a suitable vein for PICC insertion, and 76% used electrocardiography guidance to place PICCs. PICC occlusion was reported as the most frequently encountered complication, followed by device migration and deep vein thrombosis. Although 94% of respondents noted that their hospitals tracked the number of PICCs placed, only 40% reported tracking duration of PICC use. Relatedly, 30% of nurses reported that their hospitals had a written policy to evaluate PICC necessity or appropriateness.
CONCLUSION: This survey of vascular nursing experiences highlights opportunities to improve practices such as avoiding PICC use in dialysis, better tracking of PICC dwell times, and necessity. Hospitalists may use these data to inform clinical practice, appropriateness, and safety of PICCs in hospitalized patients.
Chopra, V., Kuhn, L., Ratz, D., Flanders, S.A. and Krein, S.L. (2015) Vascular nursing experience, practice knowledge, and beliefs: Results from the michigan PICC1 survey. Journal of Hospital Medicine. December 30th. [epub ahead of print].
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