A point prevalence study of cancer nursing practices for managing intravascular devices in an Australian tertiary cancer center

Emily Russell, Raymond Javan Chan, Nicole Marsh, Karen New

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The use of intravascular devices is associated with a number of potential complications. Despite a number of evidence-based clinical guidelines in this area, there continues to be nursing practice discrepancies. This study aims to examine nursing practice in a cancer care setting to identify nursing practice and areas for improvement respective to best available evidence. Methods: A point prevalence survey was undertaken in a tertiary cancer care centre in Queensland, Australia. On a randomly selected day, four nurses assessed intravascular device related nursing practices and collected data using a standardized survey tool. Results: 58 inpatients (100%) were assessed. Forty-eight (83%) had a device in situ, comprising 14 Peripheral Intravenous Catheters (29.2%), 14 Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters (29.2%), 14 Hickman catheters (29.2%) and six Port-a-Caths (12.4%). Suboptimal outcomes such as incidences of local site complications, incorrect/inadequate documentation, lack of flushing orders, and unclean/non intact dressings were observed. Conclusions: This study has highlighted a number of intravascular device related nursing practice discrepancies compared with current hospital policy. Education and other implementation strategies can be applied to improve nursing practice. Following education strategies, it will be valuable to repeat this survey on a regular basis to provide feedback to nursing staff and implement strategies to improve practice. More research is required to provide evidence to clinical practice with regards to intravascular device related consumables, flushing technique and protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer nursing
  • Central venous access device
  • Central venous catheters
  • Intravascular device
  • Nursing practice
  • Oncology nursing
  • Peripheral catheters
  • Point prevalence study


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