Catheter care checklist wins Vet Nurse RCVS Trust competition
11 November 2012
 Veterinary Nurse Sarah Hancill has won the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Charitable Trust’s 'Driving Practice Innovation' competition, with her peripheral venous catheter care checklist.

Sarah's competition submission reads as follows:

"Peripheral venous catheters are used to administer medication directly into the venous system for rapid distribution to the whole body, and also to deliver fluid therapy and nutritional support to the patient.

"The rationale behind the creation of the checklist is that, although intravenous catheter insertion has become common practice, breaking the skin barrier alters the hosts’ defence against infection, which increases the risk of local infection or bacteraemia with more serious complications such as septicaemia. This causes concern for patient safety.

"The peripheral venous catheter care checklist is intended to increase patient safety. It consists of 14 quality indicators, repeated every 24 hours over a 72 hour period.

"This timing allows for objective assessment of clinical performance for insertion and management of the peripheral intravenous catheters.

"Examples of the interventions included are: appropriate hand hygiene is followed before handling the patient; an assessment of the appearance of catheter insertion site; and the timely removal of the catheter.

"Each day the veterinary nurse or veterinary surgeon caring for the patient should complete each intervention and record their findings on the checklist provided.

"This can then be used as a tool for communicating between staff any problems with the catheter. It can also be used to collect data on what interventions are being completed.

"It is hoped that the checklist will be valued by veterinary nurses as a practical tool to care for patients who need an intravenous catheter placed as part of their treatment.

"It has an additional use as an educational tool to enable students to understand the correct protocol for caring for an intravenous catheter."

Sarah has a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing from the Royal Veterinary College where she gained her foundation degree in veterinary nursing before becoming an RVN in 2011.

Her prize was £100 in shopping vouchers which she intends to spend on a pair of netball shoes.

“Playing netball helps me to deal with the stresses of being a veterinary nurse,” she says.
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