Hospitalized patients require venous access for procedures, treatments, or therapies. The short peripheral catheter (SPC) is one option for patients who need intravenous (IV) access for treatment. Patients with difficult vasculature sometimes require multiple attempts to obtain SPC access. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of adult patients’ experiences with SPC insertion, specifically those with difficult venous access. Ten participants were purposely sampled over a 2-month period for semistructured interviews from the medical, surgical, and telemetry units at an inner city, 750-bed trauma hospital in the southwestern United States. Four key themes developed from the interview data: skills and techniques of the clinicians, distress and the SPC insertion experience, physical and emotional pain, and patient/clinician communication. These themes provided ways that clinicians might improve the patient experience, including: ensuring experienced and confident inserters are available to insert SPCs, utilizing distraction and pain methods to decrease pain perception, communicating with patients regarding site selection and expectations during SPC insertion, and identifying patients with difficult vascular access to limit attempts per patient to preserve vascular sites.
Plohal A. A Qualitative Study of Adult Hospitalized Patients With Difficult Venous Access Experiencing Short Peripheral Catheter Insertion in a Hospital Setting. J Infus Nurs. 2021 Jan-Feb 01;44(1):26-33. doi: 10.1097/NAN.0000000000000408. PMID: 33394871.