PORT care and maintenance

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Session Summary

Vascular access catheters now play an integral role in our modern health care system and support patients both in hospital and at home for a variety of reasons such as the administrations of blood products intravenous fluids and chemotherapy as well as being used for haemodynamic monitoring and blood sampling.

The session will focus on the care and maintenance of implantable PORTS. The aim is to define an implanted port and provide a brief overview of appropriate patient groups and intravenous treatments.

The focus will be on the benefits and risks surrounding the use of an implanted port. Describing the basic access procedures and continuing care and maintenance strategies, such as consent, topical anesthetics to decrease pain and intensity prior to accessing the device, aseptic technique, flushing techniques, line locks and dressings.

Angela Hastings

Vascular Access and IV therapy CNS, Frimley Health

I joined Frimley Park Hospital in 2002 as a care assistant and after completing my NVQ, foundation, and nursing degree. I find myself in my current role of vascular access and IV therapy clinical nurse specialist and education lead for this area.

I have always had a keen interest in vascular access and intravenous therapy, and was fortunate to join the vascular access team in 2013 as a vascular access practitioner. This allowed me to enhance my skills in vessel health and assessment and management of patients with complex vascular access needs.  I went on to become an infusion nurse within our busy intravenous vascular access infusion unit before taking my role as clinical nurse specialist in 2018. I am skilled in ultrasound cannulation, PICC line insertion using ECG technology, arterial line placement and assist in the re- evaluation of indwelling central vascular access devices care and maintenance for both in and outpatients. I am fortunate enough to be the support nurse for long term device placements in interventional radiology for my lead nurse consultant Andrew Barton. I have been working closely with our military infection control team to offer an experience of infection prevention control in vascular access care and maintenance for military preceptees, the aim is to inform their own practice and give them an overview of our service to provide a firm base for their future practice.

I have worked closely with my lead nurse assisting setting up a new blended IV course for newly qualified nurses so we could continue training throughout the pandemic, to maintain safe standards of practice. To ensure vessel health and preservation is a key standard of assessment and practice on admission to the hospital, I have integrated a new three-day rotation programme for emergency department doctors for ultrasound training to enhance better vessel health outcomes and improve patient experience.

I am looking forward to the future in vascular access in an ever-evolving role.