Celebrated globally since 1981, National IV Nurse Day aims to appreciate all individuals who have dedicated their lives to providing patients with the best infusion care. In recognition of this day, we are promoting awareness and gratitude for this specialized profession by sharing information on the skilled care that infusion nurses provide.
Becoming an infusion nurse requires both dedication and time. Infusion therapy involves the administration of intravenous (IV) fluids, medications, nutrition, and life-saving therapy through a needle or a catheter directly into the bloodstream. Infusion nurses focus on the insertion and maintenance of the IV line as well as the care of the patient receiving the therapy. They monitor patients, manage their tubing, maintain arterial catheters, and stay aware of potential drug complications. For instance, an infusion nurse specially trained in oncology may administer you or your loved one’s chemotherapy.
Infusion nurses have dedicated their practice to infusion therapy – if you are receiving care from an infusion nurse, you are receiving highly specialized care. Basic nursing programs provide a foundation for intravenous practice, but continuing education and skill-based competency programs are required to advance to this specialty. They have a strong understanding of venous anatomy, the physiology of fluid balance, and types of catheters, but also have hands-on experience through a preceptor before becoming an infusion nurse. Because of these programs, new infusion nurses are thoroughly trained and readily become champions in the field.
In addition to this training, infusion nurses can become specialized in areas such as inserting a central venous catheter or, more specifically, a peripheral inserted central catheter (PICC). A PICC line is inserted into the arm for long-term IV medications or those medications that cannot be safely administered through a standard IV access.
Infusion nurses work in acute care settings, especially oncology, as well as in home care. In fact, many hospital-based IV treatments can now be administered in the home or in ambulatory care settings with the supervision of a nursing specialist. A specialized infusion nurse is beneficial because they can more readily access difficult veins, such as those in a dehydrated or severely ill patient, preventing prolonged treatments or unnecessary pain.
Infusion nurses are also available for teaching visits, where they can teach you or a loved one how to administer medications. Teaching visits can be done in the home, or the process can be started earlier in the hospital. In this way, infusion nurses are skilled care providers and educators.
Ultimately, infusion nurses are advocates for improving patient care. At NurseRegistry, we have many wonderful infusion nurses on staff and offer intravenous therapies as a part of our services. We also offer our nurses infusion trainings so that they can stay up-to-date on their knowledge of infusion therapy. If you or someone you know is looking for in-home IV therapy services, call us at 650-462-1001.
In recognition of National IV Nurse Day, we thank IV nurses for their dedication to infusion therapy and all nurses for their commitment to protecting patient health and safety.
If you are an Infusion RN looking for job opportunities, view NurseRegistry’s current openings at our job board.
Infusion Nurses Society. IV Nurse Day.
Infusion Nurses Society. (2016). Updated policy and procedure manual.
Johnson & Johnson. (2015). Infusion Nursing.