Adrienne Caby, an Operating Room registered nurse at Memorial Hospital Chester, has been performing PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line placements for the past year at Memorial. She received her certification from CVC Health Care in Springfield in July 2018.
PICC lines are used for intravenous therapy. With radiological support, via an ultrasound unit, the nurse feeds a thin, flexible catheter through smaller veins in the arm and places the ending point in a larger vein closer to the heart. The ultrasound imaging allows for vein localization and makes placement of the line more comfortable and efficient for the patient.
PICC lines are used when medications will need to be administered periodically over a length of time.
"Patients can also have their blood drawn from the PICC, so it saves them from repeated, painful needle sticks," Caby said. Moreover, "The patient can receive their needed therapy at home or in an outpatient infusion center with a PICC line."
Once treatment is complete, the catheter is then removed without having to return to the OR.
Caby decided to pursue her PICC certification after watching a co-worker. Once that co-worker left Memorial, she knew she wanted to become certified.
"I love to learn new skills," Caby said. "I love working in the OR, and any skill that I can gain I will take advantage of the opportunity."
The PICCs inserted by Caby provide comfort for the patients as it prevents multiple IV sticks, easing the pain of their treatments, and preventing damage to their veins. With nurse-led PICC line insertion, the patient is able to receive access to care closer to home and sooner than they would if they had to be scheduled with other radiology or surgery patients.
PICC nurses are valuable assets to the radiology department and the hospital, they provide a skilled service required by physicians and nurses to continue the patient's treatments.