Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Fall 2022

Project Type


College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name


First Advisor

Beth Evans

Second Advisor

Pamela Kallmerten



Background: One of the major risks of infection lies in a patient’s intravenous (IV) access. On a cardiac intensive unit, a Levell II trauma center, preventing adverse events (i.e. infections, sepsis, etc.) is essential within this unit due to the nature of these health conditions. To ensure patient safety, nurses must abide by evidence-based practices and facility guidelines regarding intravenous line management. This quality improvement (QI) project implemented interventions to enhance nursing practices for peripheral intravenous therapy.

Methods: This project included statistical analysis and audits to measure the impact of the interventions. The variables being observed in this project are the number of IV fluids, disinfection cap use, proper labelling of tubing, and proper disposal of administration sets.

Results: Findings suggest that there continues to be a gap in proper peripheral intravenous (PIV) line maintenance practices among nurses in a critical care unit. One of the top concerns was nursing compliance to the proposed interventions and time constraints for the duration of the project. Statistical analysis identified the need for further education and training, ensuring nursing compliance, and piloting new quality improvement projects to explore nurses’ knowledge on best practices for PIV maintenance practices.

Conclusion: While there are various benefits to enhancing peripheral intravenous line maintenance practices in critical care settings, it can be challenging to implement due to the various factors at the microsystem and macrosystem level. Healthcare teams must continue to address these barriers in order to foster an environment that leads with safety and improving quality of care.

Keywords: peripheral intravenous lines, intravenous lines, critical care, nursing, quality improvement