- Meet Consumers/Patients
|Vascular Access Certification: An Essential Ingredient|
Lois Davis, MSN, RN, and Denise Graham
In this day and age, it is common practice to ensure the people we hire are qualified to administer to our needs—whether they be tradespeople who service our home or vehicle, or professionals who oversee our finances or health. As health care consumers, it is just as important we establish that our health care providers are qualified and certified. This includes not only our physicians and nurses, but any of our vascular access caregivers.
It is estimated that over 95 percent of hospitalized patients today receive some sort of vascular access device (VAD). According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2009 we had between 27,000 and 65,000 central line–associated bloodstream infections. These infections carry a 12 to 25 percent mortality rate.
More and more peripheral intravenous devices are being used. In addition, these devices are being kept in for longer periods of time so they need careful monitoring. In an article in Journal of Infusion Nursing (2005), Kokotis notes that peripheral IV insertion has 40 percent success rate on the first attempt, and Barton et al. note in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality (1998) that 27 percent of patients endure more than three attempts. Wolosin notes that fifty-eight percent of patients report being dissatisfied with the skill of the person starting their peripheral IV (in The Press Ganey Satisfaction Report, August 2003). A vascular access professional who routinely performs this service is warranted, rather than a health care professional who occasionally inserts a patient line.
Selecting a certified vascular access health care professional is a measurable way of ensuring the clinician has the knowledge to practice competently within this specialty field, which is especially important when it comes to these high-volume, high-risk procedures. Those who are Vascular Access Board Certified (VA-BC™) have met the standards of the current professional practice. Certification validates that their knowledge is up-to-date and they meet the demand for high safety standards. Certification also demonstrates that their health care facility is committed to board certification.
Next time you or someone you know has a VAD inserted or cared for, ask for a VA-BC clinician.
Lois Davis is VA-BC™ Certification Program Director and Denise Graham is VACC Public Board Member. For more information about Vascular Access Board Certification, visit www.vacert.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LifelineLetter, September/October 2014