Vascular Access Devices: Care and Concerns | Australian College of Nursing

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Vascular Access Devices: Care and Concerns

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Vascular Access Devices: Care And Concerns

About the CPD short course

This short course is conducted over one day and is equivalent to 7 continuing professional development (CPD) hours. Please note that the program is subject to change.

Who should attend?

This short course is designed for nurses to update their knowledge on the care and management of vascular access devices. The program will present evidence-based practice guidelines for assessing and managing peripheral catheters, central venous catheters (CVC), peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC), tunnelled devices such as Hickman Catheters and implantable devices such as Portacaths.



Key learning outcomes

On completion participants will be better able to:

  • discuss the concept of vessel health and preservation and apply this concept to the clinical setting
  • discuss the concept of the 5 Rights in vascular access to promote optimal outcomes with intravascular devices
  • understand the management and prevention of common complications associated with the peripheral vascular access devices
  • demonstrate best practice in the assessment and management of peripheral and central venous access devices
  • demonstrate the rationale for optimal catheter tip termination with central venous access devices.




Welcome and introduction


Introduction to vascular access

  • overview of vascular access devices
  • vessel anatomy and physiology
  • promoting vessel health and preservation – The 5 Rights of Vascular Access


Morning tea


Why can’t you use peripheral catheters for everything?

  • the role of pH, osmolarity, vesicants and irritants and their effect on the vessel wall
  • the pathogenesis and management of infiltration, extravasation and phlebitis


Best practice in the management of peripheral catheters

  • assessing the cannula site for thrombosis and phlebitis
  • the association between phlebitis and catheter site infection
  • catheter dwell time, changing giving sets and IV fluids
  • should peripheral cannula insertion be an aseptic technique?


What are midline catheters and when should they be used?

  • advantages and disadvantages of using a midline catheter instead of a PICC or CVC




Best practice in the management of PICCs and CVCs

  • accessing a PICC or CVC using an aseptic technique
  • flushing and locking catheters to ensure patency
  • unblocking catheters
  • types of catheter securements
  • types of catheter dressings
  • using IV connectors (positive, negative, and neutral valves)
  • use of chlorhexidine-impregnated sponges
  • what is catheter-related thrombosis and why size matters
  • new kid on the block: Power PICCs


Best practice in the management of long-term vascular access devices

  • tunnelled catheters: Hickman catheters/Broviac catheters
  • implantable devices: portacaths


Afternoon tea


Catheter tip position for central venous access devices

  • reviewing the chest X-ray
  • deeper the better -  the risk of thrombosis with proximal catheter tip termination


Preventing infection with central venous access devices

  • strategies to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infection (insertion and care bundles)
  • what to do when you suspect catheter-related line infection
  • central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) vs. catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) – what is the difference?


Difficult vascular access

  • vein viewer and similar modalities
  • the role of ultrasound guidance for peripheral catheters


Evaluation and finish


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