Background/aims Invasive procedures (eg intravenous cannulation) remain a leading cause of distress in children. They are performed daily yet rarely taught formally, leading to variation in practice. The British Psychological Society (BPS) created guidelines in 2010, although these have yet to be implemented in a formal teaching programme. Our teaching intervention aimed to align practice to BPS guidelines and improve professional confidence.
Methods Teaching sessions were delivered to professionals involved in cannulation at two South London hospitals by a senior play specialist and a paediatrician. Sessions covered assessment, preparation, teamwork, implementation and post-procedural care. A poster containing a flowchart was used for teaching and departmental reference.
Results Thirteen professionals involved in cannulation (9 medical, 4 nursing) reported their previous teaching experiences. 5 reported never receiving training in paediatric invasive procedures, 6 informal teaching and only 2 receiving formal teaching (1 medical, 1 nursing). Pre-intervention confidence was 5.7/10 (n = 13) [range 0–8]. This improved to 7.3/10 [range 4–9] post intervention. The intervention usefulness was rated 8.3/10 (n = 12, range 5–10]. When self-reporting practical considerations for cannulation, 8/12 mentioned local anaesthetic creams but only 6/12 mentioned using distraction or a play specialist.
Conclusions This intervention aimed to address the lack of formal teaching available in Paediatric invasive procedures. It highlighted areas of BPS guidance that remain underappreciated despite their greater efficacy (eg the importance of distraction vs anaesthetic cream). Initial levels of confidence showed improvement post-intervention. We recommend this teaching intervention to be used regularly throughout Paediatric departments and undergraduate medical programmes.
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