Intravenous (IV) therapy training is a certificate program that prepares health professionals, most commonly nurses, to insert, remove, monitor and evaluate IV infusions and the patients who receive them. Venipuncture techniques are used to establish catheter lines for various IV therapies such as hydration, blood transfusions and medication administration. Such training is typically offered in conjunction with nursing or emergency medical technician programs.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are the most common students of IV therapy. Admission to an IV therapy training program usually requires work experience, training, and proof of current state licensure in an appropriate medical profession or student status in a training program. Some physicians who practice in rural areas also may complete IV training. In order to complete the training, a written exam is administered once the program has ended.
For a nurse specializing in IV therapy, approximately 2-3 years of experience as a registered nurse is preferred, with some positions requiring recent experience in an acute care setting. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is preferred by some employers. EMTs normally must be at an intermediate level of training in order to perform IV therapy.
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Certificate of Completion in IV Training
Participants in IV training programs participate in 45-48 hours of training, during which they attend lectures and labs and complete a clinical rotation. Students will learn:
- Venipuncture terminology
- Infection control
- Basic pharmacology
- Insertion and removal
- Infusion flow rate calculation
- IV complications management
Job Outlook and Salary Information
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reported that licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses had a 2014-2024 projected job growth of 16%. As of May 2015, their average annual salaries were $44,030 according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
IV therapy practitioners may pursue continued development through online resources, such as professional forums and newsletters. Professional organizations offer memberships providing reference materials, career support and current updates. Online forums and blogs are also available in order to connect with professional peers.
IV therapy nurses also often earn an additional voluntary certifications, such as the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion credential offered by the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation. Applicants for the certifying exam must be RNs and meet specific work experience requirements. The certification is valid for three years, at which time applicants can either retest or take continuing education requirements to maintain
Numerous seminars and workshops are available in the field of IV therapy through industry organizations and college training programs. Webinars and annual workshops are also available for IV therapy practitioners. Continuing education credits are usually awarded for attendance at these events.
Taking a certificate program in IV training is only possible for those who are registered nurses with a few years of work experience, and in some cases a bachelor's degree in nursing. The certificate program lasts between 45-48 hours and is a supplemental program for nurses who would like to extend their skills into other subfields and specialties on the job.