This is Cathy, the catheter bear. She is the most well-behaved patient you will ever place an intravenous (IV) catheter in—and perfect to practice on.
She had surgery to insert an IV line into her left arm. The tube enters through a small hole near her shoulder. Because the line enters and exits though small holes, it usually stays in position. However, if the holes are too big, you can staple them—just don't puncture the line. It is easy to feel where the line is in the arm.
We clamp the IV line at the end. The fluid—enhanced with food coloring—simulates a flash in the catheter. Having an assistant squeeze the bag or using an inflatable pressure bag helps to build up pressure in the line.
After we practice placing the catheter, we unclamp the line, pull it through until the hole made by the catheter is at the distal end of the clamp, reclamp, and snip off the end.
Leah Wood, RVT