IV Training Programs and Requirements

Intravenous (IV) therapy training 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.

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Training Requirements and Recommendations

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 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.

Formal Education

Training in IV therapy is typically available through hospitals, health departments and community colleges. It is usually offered as part of an EMT certificate or nursing degree curriculum. A certificate of completion is usually awarded to graduates of IV training programs.

Certificate of Completion

Participants in IV training programs participate in 45-48 hours of training, during which participants attend lectures and labs and complete a clinical rotation. Students learn venipuncture terminology, infection control, basic pharmacology, insertion and removal, infusion flow rate calculation and IV complications management. A written exam is required to successfully complete the program.

Job Experience

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.

Licenses and Certifications

Nurses and EMTs must meet varying state licensure requirements in order to practice. IV therapy nurses 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 certification.

Workshops and Seminars

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.

Additional Professional Development

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.

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