Intravenous Therapy (IV) Training Programs and Certification

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a process by which health care professionals infuse medications and other fluids directly into a patient's veins. As a nurse, EMT or medical assistant, you can gain training and certification in the activity in order to increase your skill set. Get information on where to find training programs, check the prerequisites for enrollment, and see what you'll learn. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Intravenous therapy requires you to insert a needle into the patient's vein, either to replenish their bodily fluids or to administer medication. Certification courses or classes for medical professionals are offered at many schools and typically do not take long to complete.

Responsibilities Starting and monitoring an intravenous line
Training Individual classes as well as certificate programs
Certification Available at the state level

Who Administers Intravenous Therapy?

As a medical professional, you will likely come in contact with patients who require intravenous (IV) therapy. Patients who lack sufficient body fluids or who need medicine infused directly into their bloodstream may likely require an IV. You may deliver an IV in an emergency, or as part of ongoing care. In some cases, you will have to administer an IV on a regular basis - hourly, daily, or weekly. With training in IV therapy, you can work in a hospital, hospice, emergency care or other health care facility. You may also be able to provide in-home care to chronically ill patients.

What Kinds of Training Programs Are Available?

You can find IV therapy certificate and certification programs, as well as individual courses or modules, offered through the continuing education departments of schools offering medical instruction. Most of these programs are designed for working professionals in the hectic medical field. Courses are short and are often available on nights and weekends.

What Are the Prerequisites for an IV Therapy Certificate Program?

Each state has its own guidelines regarding who can administer IV therapy. Some professionals who are allowed to administer IVs include licensed practical nurses (LPN), registered nurses, emergency medical technicians and medical assistants. In some programs, courses are only available for LPNs or other medical professionals who are new to IV administration. You may also take an IV therapy course to refresh your skills and stay aware of current techniques and technologies.

What Will I Learn?

Training in IV therapy should help you decide the correct equipment to use, identify central veins and reduce risk of infection and complications. Your coursework will likely also cover laws related to IV administration, which vary by state. Your program objectives should include decision-making techniques on when and how to administer IV therapy in an emergency situation. Your can also learn how to administer an IV in a classroom or clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed professional. Successful completion of the program often includes a successful administration of multiple venipunctures and leads to state certification.

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