Central Line Program for Patients


The American College of Surgeons Division of Education Surgical Patient Education Central Line Home Skills program teaches you how to care for your central venous access device (CVAD) also referred to as a central line. The program includes information on types of central lines, supplies needed and skills necessary to manage daily care. The program demonstrates each step of the procedure and facilitates our best practices.


You are encouraged to use the Central Line Home Skills Kit along with the course. The skill kit contains practice equipment (syringes, tubing, needleless connector, alcohol wipes, gloves, and practice model), an instruction booklet with images, a video and a self-assessment checklist, and references for additional support. Visit the ACS website for more information or to order your Central Lines Home Skills Kit.


The Central Lines Home Skills Kit was developed by a team of surgeons, nurses and patients working with the American College of Surgeons Division of Education.


Original release date: 12/05/2016 to 1/31/2023

Reviewed and extended for:  1/31/2023 to 1/31/2025


Course Outline

Understanding Your CVAD

CVAD Insertion

Skills to Manage Your CVAD


Giving Fluids and Medications

Changing the Needleless Connector

Changing the Dressing

Giving Parenteral Nutrition

Accessing and Removing the Noncoring Needle

Problem Solving and Emergencies

Home Management and Other Resources

Picture of Central Line Program for Patients
  • $0.00

About this course

Faculty Credentials

Disclosure Information

In accordance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the American College of Surgeons must ensure that anyone in a position to control the content of the educational activity (planners and speakers/authors/discussants/moderators) has disclosed all financial relationships with any commercial interest (termed by the ACCME as “ineligible companies”, defined below) held in the last 24 months (see below for definitions). Please note that first authors were required to collect and submit disclosure information on behalf all other authors/contributors, if applicable.

Ineligible company

The ACCME defines an “ineligible company” as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services used on or consumed by patients. Providers of clinical services directly to patients are NOT included in this definition.

Financial Relationships

Relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.  Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected.  ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of an ineligible company with which he/she has a financial relationship.

The ACCME also requires that ACS manage any reported conflict and eliminate the potential for bias during the educational activity.  Any conflicts noted below have been managed to our satisfaction. The disclosure information is intended to identify any commercial relationships and allow learners to form their own judgments. However, if you perceive a bias during the educational activity, please report it on the evaluation. 


Central Lines Task Force

Susan Bakewell, MS, RN-BC -Nothing to Disclose
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
Denver, CO

Gregory S. Cherr, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Society for Vascular Surgery
SUNY-Buffalo Department of Surgery
Buffalo, NY

Peggi Guenter, PhD, RN, FAAN -Nothing to Disclose
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Silver Spring, MD

Kimberly Harrington -Nothing to Disclose
Patient Advocate
Chicago, IL

Gary E. Hartman, MD, MBA, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
American Pediatric Surgical Association
Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital
Stanford, CA

Jonathan E. Kohler, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Pediatric Surgery
University of Wisconsin Hospitals
Madison, WI

Robin Koonce, RN, MSN, CPNP -Nothing to Disclose
American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Michael F. McGee, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Chicago, IL

Britt Meyer, PhD, RN, CRNI, VA-BC, NE-BC -Nothing to Disclose
Infusion Nurses Society
Duke University Hospital
Durham, NC

Cathy Ready, RN -Nothing to Disclose
Home Care Nurse
Chicago, IL

Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNSCP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP -Nothing to Disclose
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
Denver, CO

Daniel H. Teitelbaum, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
American Pediatric Surgical Association
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Patient Education Committee

Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC -Nothing to Disclose
John M. Daly, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Eileen M. Duggen, MD (Resident Member) -Nothing to Disclose
David V. Feliciano, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
B.J. Hancock, MD, FACS, FRCSC -Nothing to Disclose
Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Michael F. McGee, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Beth H. Sutton, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose
Michael J. Zinner, MD, FACS -Nothing to Disclose

ACS Surgical Patient Education Program

Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC -Nothing to Disclose

Assistant Director 
Kathleen Heneghan, PhD, RN, PN-C -Nothing to Disclose

Nancy Strand, RN, MPH -Nothing to Disclose

Program Coordinator
Amanda Bruggeman -Nothing to Disclose

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the daily care needed for a central line.
  • Name the basic equipment that is used for central line care.
  • Describe the steps for central line care including: flushing, giving medications, changing a needleless connector, and changing a dressing.
  • Identify how to manage common central line problems including: blockage, preventing infection, preventing catheter movement, and how to remove air in the line.
  • Describe how to manage everyday activities including bathing, exercise, and traveling.



  • If you have any questions about this course, please contact
  • For technical assistance, please contact

Target Audience

  • Patients who need a central line
  • Caregivers managing a central line in the home or nursing home
  • Anyone teaching families and caregivers central line home care skills

CME Accreditation

A Certificate of Completion/Certificate of Participation will be awarded for this course.

This activity is not eligible for CME or CE credits.