IV Therapy Training Program Information

Intravenous (IV) therapists are specially trained licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs) who work in hospitals, clinics and home health care settings. IV therapists use venipuncture techniques to establish catheter lines for IV therapies, including hydration, drug administration and blood transfusions. Formal IV therapy training programs are typically offered through colleges as certificate programs.

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IV Therapy Certificate Program

IV therapy certificate programs typically include both traditional coursework and supervised hands-on training in a clinical setting. Students may learn about anatomy and physiology in relation to intravenous therapy, administration and care of an IV site, safety precautions and drug interactions. Upon completion of the program, graduates may work as IV therapists.

Education Prerequisites

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. Experience working as an RN or LPN is often required for enrollment. A criminal background check and proof of a negative tuberculosis test may also be required.

Course Topics

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
  • IV site selection
  • IV site maintenance
  • Infection prevention and complications
  • Discontinuation of IVs
  • Drug interactions
  • Patient care and assessment

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 LPNs will increase by 21% between 2008 and 2018, while employment opportunities for RNs are predicted to increase 22% during that same time (www.bls.gov). According to data found on Salary.com in January 2012, the median salary for RNs specializing in IV therapy was $70,188.

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.

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