Intravenous (IV) therapists are specially trained licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs) who work in hospitals, clinics and home health care settings. This sort of experience is often a prerequisite for certification programs.
IV Therapy program helps specialists keep up to date and has its main focus in such areas as anatomy and physiology, infection prevention, the equipment and supplies necessary, drug interaction, pharmacology, and the practice of administering and running an IV.
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Certificate in IV Therapy
Individuals must be a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse with a current state nursing license or temporary permit before enrolling in an IV therapy certificate program. A criminal background check and proof of a negative tuberculosis test may also be required.
IV therapy certificate programs focus on current IV administration techniques, as well as fluid balance, medications, complications and effects of IV therapy.
Courses include topics in:
- IV therapy administration
- Anatomy and physiology
- Fluid and electrolyte balance
- Infection prevention and complications
- Discontinuation of IVs
- Drug interactions
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Employment outlook data specifically related to IV therapy is not available, but information for the related careers of RNs and LPNs is available. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted that employment for both LPNs and RNs will increase by 16% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). According to Salary.com the median salary for RNs specializing in IV therapy was $82,569.
Certification and Licensure Information
After completing an IV therapy certificate program, students must receive a passing grade on a written final exam and demonstrate their abilities in a clinical setting to receive certification. Upon successful completion of the program, the student's nursing license is updated to reflect certification in the field.
Aspiring IV therapists need to be a licensed LPN or RN before enrolling in a certificate program. These programs train students in IV administration techniques and other aspects of IV therapy, preparing them to enter this specific area of the medical field.