Nurses call for vascular access specialists in every US hospital: 4 things to know

The Association for Vascular Access and a grassroots group of nurses aim to collect 100,000 signatures in support of a measure to place vascular access specialists in every U.S. hospital.

Four things to know:

1. Leaders of the movement will present the petition June 20 at the 2019 American Nurses Association Hill Day as part of a larger effort to improve nurse-to-patient ratios.

"Vascular access specialists make a crucial contribution to maintaining those staffing ratios by allowing highly skilled bedside nurses to focus on patient care instead of being called away to assist with intravenous access," Connie Girgenti, RN, a nurse and co-organizer of the petition, said in a press release.

2. Of the more than 590,000 patients admitted to hospitals daily, about 98 percent need a vascular access device. Oftentimes, it may take clinicians several attempts to insert the devices, which can cause pain for patients, lead to complications such as bloodstream infections and, in the case of peripheral intravenous catheters, cost $28 to $35 per use.

3. In contrast, vascular access specialists are specially trained to assess and insert intravenous catheters. They consider patients' health histories, medications and specific device needs, with the goal of "one patient, one device."

4. These specialists can save patients from the unnecessary pain of repeat needle sticks and give nurses more time to focus on patient care.

To view the petition, click here.

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