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Change a Hospital Gown for Patients with IV Line

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By Paul Martin, BSN, R.N.

Hospital gowns are a staple in healthcare settings, providing patients with convenient attire during hospital stays while allowing medical professionals easy access for procedures. However, changing a patient’s hospital gown, especially when they have an intravenous (IV) line, requires careful consideration and skill from nurses.

This guide will explain the importance of proper gown-changing techniques for patients with IV lines, ensuring both patient comfort and medical safety.

Table of Contents


Changing a hospital gown for a patient with an IV line and hanging IV fluid involves carefully removing the patient’s current gown and replacing it with a clean one while ensuring the IV line remains secure and the IV fluid administration is uninterrupted.


Having all supplies ready ensures the procedure can be conducted efficiently and without interruptions, reducing the risk of contamination.

  • Clean hospital gown
  • Disposable gloves
  • Top sheet or blanket
  • Container (used for disposing of the soiled gown)
  • Hand sanitizer or soap and water.


Changing a hospital gown for a patient with an IV line requires careful attention to ensure safety, comfort, and IV integrity. Following these steps and their rationale ensures a smooth and effective procedure.

1. Prepare the New Gown.
Ensure the new gown, which is designed as a unisex one-size-fits-all garment with an A-line dress silhouette is clean and within reach. This step prevents any delay in the changing process and maintains the patient’s comfort and hygiene.

2. Explain the procedure to the patient.
Communicate with the patient to explain the procedure and reassure them that their IV line will remain secured throughout. This step helps alleviate any anxiety or concerns the patient may have, promoting trust and cooperation.

3. Check the IV site and tubing to ensure they are properly secured and there are no signs of dislodgement or leakage.
This assessment prevents accidental removal or damage to the IV line during the gown change.

4. Untie or unfasten the gown at the neck and back.
This step makes it easier to remove the gown without causing unnecessary movement of the IV line.

5. Gently remove the soiled gown from the shoulder and arm on the side without an IV line. Removing the gown from the unaffected arm first reduces the risk of pulling or disturbing the IV line while allowing for the gown to be removed comfortably.

5. Gently slide the other sleeve off the shoulder, over the arm, IV catheter, and IV tubing. Detach the fluid container from the IV stand and slide the gown over it, ensuring the container remains above the infusion site at all times.
This precaution safeguards against accidental dislodgement or kinking of the IV, which could disrupt fluid delivery or medication administration.

6. Carefully remove the patient’s gown under the top sheet and dispose of the soiled gown in the designated container.
This technique prevents unnecessary stress on the IV line and reduces the risk of accidental removal or displacement.

7. Secure the IV Line.
Once the old gown is removed, check the IV line and tubing again to ensure they are still intact and properly positioned. If needed, adjust the placement of the IV line to ensure comfort and functionality.

8. Gown the patient by placing the sleeve over the IV fluid container, rehanging the container, and sliding the gown over the tubing and arm with the IV catheter. Position the gown properly on the patient’s shoulder.
Starting with the IV arm helps manage the tubing effectively and reduces the risk of pulling on the IV line.

9. Place the clean gown over the opposite arm and shoulder.
Completing the gown application helps secure the patient in a clean, comfortable state.

10. Tie or fasten the gown at the neck and back securely.
Proper fastening ensures the gown stays in place, providing adequate coverage and comfort for the patient.

11. Verify that the IV line is not kinked or pulled and that it is functioning correctly.
A final inspection ensures the IV line remains in place and effective, preventing potential complications.

12. Ensure the patient is comfortable and that the gown is not causing any discomfort.
Comfort adjustments help improve the patient’s overall experience and prevent pressure sores or other discomforts.

13. Record the gown change and any observations in the patient’s chart.
Accurate documentation maintains continuity of care and offers a record for future reference.

Sources and References

Paul Martin R.N. brings his wealth of experience from five years as a medical-surgical nurse to his role as a nursing instructor and writer for Nurseslabs, where he shares his expertise in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health to help students and nurses become the best version of themselves and elevate the nursing profession.

2 thoughts on “Change a Hospital Gown for Patients with IV Line”

  1. You can also assist with diagrams or pictures to help facilitate better understanding.
    Your explanation are too notch.
    Kudos 👍

    • Hi Kayode, Thank u for the awesome feedback and the suggestion! 🌟 Totally get how visuals can make things clearer. We’ll work on incorporating more diagrams and pictures in the future. Always keen to improve. Thanks again for the positive vibes, and keep the feedback coming!


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