Peripheral cannulae in oncology: nurses' confidence and patients' experiences
Evidence & Practice    

Peripheral cannulae in oncology: nurses' confidence and patients' experiences

Carole Farrell Research fellow, School of Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, and consultant editor, Cancer Nursing Practice
Elizabeth McCulloch Clinical skills trainer, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Sarah Bellhouse Research associate, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Mary-Kate Delahoyde Assistant psychologist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, England
Steve Hill Procedure team manager, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Claire Rickard Professor of nursing
Janelle Yorke Professor of cancer nursing, University of Manchester, England

The insertion and care of peripheral intravenous cannulae (PIVCs) is a role performed by clinical staff that is fundamental to oncology. Previous research indicates nurses' confidence and experience could mediate successful first attempt insertion, increasing the longevity of PIVCs and improving the patient experience.

The aim of this audit was to provide a snapshot of care and maintenance of PIVCs, patients' experiences and nurses' confidence at a specialist cancer hospital.

An audit tool assessing PIVC care practices (n = 51) and a patient experience questionnaire (n = 65) were completed. A questionnaire assessing nurses' confidence and training needs was completed by 36 nurses.

The findings raise some concerns about clinical practice when inserting PIVCs and ongoing care, with 80% adherence to cannulation policies. Almost half of insertion procedures failed at the first attempt and 17% of nurses lacked confidence in PIVC insertion and in recognising or responding to common complications. Patient satisfaction was high for ongoing PIVC care (95%), although some reported increased pain and anxiety after PIVC insertion, with some unresolved concerns.

This audit highlights several important areas for improvement in relation to PIVC insertion and maintenance and the need for greater adherence to clinical guidelines/policy and additional training were identified.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2017.e1408


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 17 February 2017

Accepted: 06 March 2017

Published online: 29 March 2017

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