Celebrating National IV Nurses Day – and a history of IV Therapy at AAMC
On Wednesday, Jan.25, we celebrated National IV Nurses Day. We honor the dedication and professionalism of Vascular Access and Infusion Nurses in this important, demanding and ever-growing specialty.
I have been recently asked about how the IV team started here at AAMC and after doing a little research, I found some answers.
Until the mid 1950’s, physicians or medical students started all IVs at Anne Arundel General Hospital. They used straight steel needles that, in those days, were often sharpened and sterilized for re-use.
In the late 1950’s, the use of IV therapy really started to increase at the hospital. Recognizing the need, a woman named Alice Banks started the first IV Team at Anne Arundel. It was a one person team staffed by Melba Wodifoldt. She was responsible for starting IVs, drawing blood and maintaining the infusion equipment, including the glass IV bottles and needles.
In 1967, Doris Seville joined the team as an IV specialist. By this time, they were still using straight steel needles, but they were disposable and one-time use only. In 1973, Margaret Riley joined the department and Marie Pinches joined in 1979. The IV Team was day shift only. If a patient’s IV infiltrated during the evening/night it was restarted in the morning during phlebotomy rounds. These nurses also drew all labs at Anne Arundel at this time.
The IV department was reconstructed in 2000 to address the ever-increasing vascular access needs, which included a large volume of central lines. In 2000, the Vascular Access Team performed approximately 10,000 patient visits. PICC line insertions began at this time and the first year we placed 172.
Today, the Vascular Access Team is comprised of nationally certified specialists that perform more than 100,000 patient visits per year. We see thousands of patients with central lines and complicated vascular access. We receive at least 2,500 PICC insertion orders per year and have become one of the national leaders in central line care and reduction of complications such as catheter related blood stream infections.
On behalf of the Vascular Access department, thank you for all the well wishes and support from the Medical and Nursing staff. -Clint Welch, RN,CRNI, Manager, Vascular Access Department