Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Vicki Ericson


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Background: Intravenous access is commonly needed in the emergency department for lab testing, medication administration, imaging, and hospital admission. Complications may arise in patients who are critically or chronically ill, dehydrated, IV drug users, have large body mass, or poor vascularity. Ultrasound can allow the medical professional to visualize the vessel beneath the skin and confirm the placement of an intravenous catheter. The use of ultrasound requires education and hands-on training so the user becomes proficient and comfortable with use. Restrictions placed during the Covid-19 pandemic required the implementation of electronic education modules (vs. in-person delivery) to train staff on the proper use of ultrasound for IV placement.

Purpose: This project aimed to pilot a sustainable electronic educational training system, developed by an interprofessional team, to increase knowledge and skill in ultrasound-guided intravenous access for employees in the emergency department.

Methods: Pre and post-education surveys were used to determine if online education modules could improve knowledge, comfort, and confidence in ultrasound-guided IV access (USGIVA). A convenience sample was used consisting of nurses and paramedics in the emergency department at a Midwestern urban level 1 trauma center. Online modules were created for instruction on using ultrasound equipment and placement technique for peripheral IV access. Each module contained a test that required a success rate of 80% to move to the next module. Pre-education questionnaires were collected before the module completion. Post-education questionnaires were collected after the completion of learning modules. Likert scale questionnaires were used, and answers were input into an Excel spreadsheet for data examination.

Results: All participants successfully completed the online education modules and post-tests. In post-education questionnaires, participants reported that online USGIVA training was helpful and appropriate for increasing understanding and knowledge related to machine use, placement procedure, technique, and supply use. Staff also reported high levels of confidence related to ultrasound machine use and the ability to place ultrasound-guided IVs successfully.

Conclusions and Implications: Online USGIVA education improves knowledge, confidence, and comfort while aiding employees in the emergency department to learn a highly valuable skill leading to improved patient care, decreased costs, and improved flow. Online USGIVA education can be an inexpensive, convenient, and sustainable resource for employees to utilize in patient care.

Available for download on Monday, September 11, 2023