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Change Concept 8: AV Fistula Cannulation Training

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Prevent fistulae from being destroyed by inexperienced staff. Discuss the basics of needle cannulation with all staff.

  • Facility uses best cannulators and best teaching tools (e.g., videos) to teach AVF cannulation to all appropriate dialysis staff.
  • Dialysis staff use specific protocols for initial dialysis treatments with new AVFs and assign the most skilled staff to such patients.
  • Facility offers option of self-cannulation to patients who are interested and able.

Changes for Improvement

  • Use Experienced Staff and Teaching Tools to Train All Appropriate Dialysis Staff on AVF Cannulation
  • Identify the experienced cannulators on your staff; make sure they are available to cannulate all new fistulae and to train inexperienced staff.  Identify and make available to your staff appropriate teaching tools.
  • Use Protocols for Initial Dialysis Treatments with New AVF Patients
  • Dialysis staff should develop and use a specific protocol for initial dialysis treatments with new AV fistula patients and assign the most skilled staff to such patients.
  • Teach Self-Cannulation to Patients Who Are Interested and Able
  • Facilities should offer the option of self-cannulation to patients who are interested and able.