You presented some helpful techniques in "Tailor Your I.V. Insertion Techniques for Special Populations" (May 2005). I'd like to add two more. First, if your patient is someone with a developmental disability, you need to thoroughly explain the procedure to him-and to not only appear calm, but to be calm. My young adult son who's disabled recognizes any stress around him and reacts to it almost immediately. If a nurse is rushed or stressed, he becomes anxious, which can cause vasoconstriction.
Second, laughter may be the best medicine for anyone who's anxious about a needle stick. When I was trying to cannulate a vein that was difficult to see, something struck my client as humorous. As she laughed, the vein appeared like magic and the cannulation was successful.
MARILYN MASTERSON, RN, BA, MSN