Facts About IV Therapy Certification

IV stands for “intravenous” and it effectively refers to those aspects of healthcare that involve inserting a needle into a patient with the intention of removing blood or with the intention of administering medication or another form of treatment directly into the bloodstream. With IV therapy certification you may be eligible for a raise in salary as well as for more advanced job opportunities and a broader career outlook.

Educational Prerequisites

There are a number of educational and other prerequisites that are required in order to enter an IV therapy training program. In order to be accepted into an IV therapy course you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • You must be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN)
  • You must be CPR-certified at the Health Care Provider level
  • You must provide proof of current immunizations
  • You must provide proof of a negative TB test
  • You must provide proof of personal liability insurance
  • You must also submit to criminal background checks

Where To Get Training

You have three options in terms of where you can get your IV therapy certification training:

  • On The Job
  • IV Therapy Courses
  • IV Therapy Certificate Programs

IV therapy is a common task for nurses to perform; so on the job training is useful. Some hospitals offer validation of your IV therapy skills. This will allow you to go on to receive certification by taking the exam. You can also do an IV therapy course which will actually focus on teaching you specific skills related to IV therapy. IV therapy certification programs are similar to IV therapy courses expect that they are far more intensive.IV Therapy Certification Program

Course Topics

There are a number of course topics that you should cover in an IV therapy certification training course, including intravenous therapy maintenance, intravenous catheters, antibiotic therapy, pharmacology, infection control, legal documentation, fluid balance, safe fluid administration and allergic responses. There are, essentially, a large number of different skills and knowledge that you will need to learn in order to do a job like this well. The programs that you select in order to complete your IV therapy certification training should include comprehensive classes in all of these topics as well as in any additional subjects that may be useful for IV therapy certification in your particular state. Online courses should also include these topics.

Job Description

The following are the basic tasks that an IV therapy nurse performs:

  • You will insert intravenous needles
  • You will collect, handle and transport blood
  • You will conduct electrocardiography tests
  • You will administer parenteral nutrition
  • You will administer transfusions
  • You will administer antineoplastic agents.
  • You may work in a hospital, clinic, nursing home or rehabilitation center or provide home care for housebound patients
  • You will inform the patient about the procedure and the purpose of the IV drip
  • You will educate the patient to comply with directives of the treatment plan
  • You will monitor the rate of infusions and adjust the flow to meet the prescribed target rate
  • You will work with the physician and other health-care staff to monitor patient allergic reactions
  • You will work with the physician and other health-care staff to provide emergency care if and when necessary

Popular Career Options

There are a number of different places in which you can work as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse with IV therapy certification. The most popular places include:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Long-term care facilities

Essentially you work anywhere where IV therapy is likely to be administered to patients. IV therapy involves the use of needles, so it is necessary that you are not only comfortable with needles and the sight of blood, but also that you know how to deal with patients under you care who are not comfortable with such things and who need reassurance when undergoing IV therapy of whatever kind and for whatever reason.

Continuing Education And Certification Information

It is interesting to note that IV therapy certification can occur at state level, but also at national level as the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC) offers national certification for registered nurses who pass the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI) examination. Generally speaking it is a requirement that you are already an RN in order to receive certification of this kind. However, if you are an LPN who is enrolled in an LPN to RN program at the time that you apply for national certification, you will most likely also be permitted to write the certification exam and become certified to administer IV therapy across the entire country and not merely within your own state.

Summary: Steps To Becoming An IV Therapy Nurse

The following are the basic steps that you can follow in order to become an IV therapy certified nurse:

  • Finish high school and take as many biology, math and chemistry classes as you can while still in school
  • Take a nursing course an become a registered nurse
  • Get hand-son practical training as well as theory training as a surgical nurse
  • Go to a nursing school in order to attain additional training in anatomy and pharmacology to make it easier for you to understand the processes and so on involved in IV therapy
  • As you will need to train others, such as the families of patients, how to administer IV therapy, this is also a skill you should pick up

IV Therapy Certification Through NAPNES

NAPNES stands for “National Association for Practical Nursing Education and Services” and this is an association through which you can get your IV therapy certification. According to the association’s website “NAPNES Certification in Intravenous Therapy (IV Therapy Certification) allows LP/VNs to measure their knowledge against a national test and offers a national, post-licensure credential that many employers ask for by name”. This is definitely one of the better associations through which you can receive certification and the vast majority of employers look upon IV therapy certification from this particular source very favorably indeed. On the association’s website you can apply for certification and find out more about what it takes to become IV certified.

Cost

There are a number of fees that may be associated with receiving IV therapy certification through NAPNES. These include:

  • A $100.00 registration fee paid to NAPNES at the time you apply
  • A $60.00 paid to Castle Worldwide for the first try at the certification exam
  • A $50.00 for each additional attempt at the exam after your first try
  • You may purchase study materials at an additional cost to help you pass the exam
  • There are additional fees if you do not take the exam within 60 days of application
  • There are additional fees if a check you send to NAPNES bounces
  • There are late filing penalties in cases where you file for renewal of your certification late
  • A $100 registration fee paid to NAPNES for the IV Therapy exam is also required

Validity

The certification that you receive is only valid for three years at which point you will need to apply for re-certification. NAPNES does its best to inform those nurses who need to apply for re-certification that the date is coming up. They will inform nurses via email of this. However in many cases NAPNES does not have your email address. In this case the certification card that you were given the last time you certified will be your reminder. These cards contain an expiration date that you will have to be re-certified by.

Length Of Process

According to the NAPNES website the length of the certification process depends on and can be controlled by you: “Much of the time required will depend on you. Basically it takes NAPNES four to six weeks to process an application. You can reduce this time by using online payments, faxing or emailing applications, etc. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. The process requires time as we conduct verifications on every application”. The bottom line is that, the sooner you start the application for certification process, the sooner you will be certified. When applying for re-certification make sure that you leave plenty of time for things to go wrong and that you are able to submit all paperwork before the due date.

Membership

NAPNES is a nursing association to which you can become a member. However, when it comes to IV therapy certification, there are a number of things to keep in mind:

– Becoming certified is not the same thing as becoming a member. You will need to go through an entirely different process in order to become a member of NAPNES.
– Becoming a member of NAPNES is highly recommended because you will be able to get discounts on study materials and other things.
– Being a member does, however, involve paying membership fees on a regular basis in order to adequately maintain your membership status with the association.

Raise

Although NAPNES admits that it is highly likely that you will be able to get a raise at your current job if you have IV therapy certification, there is no way that the association can guarantee that this will happen. It is, essentially, up to your employer. Some of them will give raises, others will not. However, with IV therapy certification, you will be able to apply for jobs that pay higher wages and you will also stand a higher chance of actually receiving those jobs. Even if you certification status does not make a significant difference in your current job it will open the door for you to apply to other jobs.

Test

NAPNES offers an online certification exam that will allow you to become an IV therapy certified nurse. There are a number of thing to keep in mind in relation to this exam:

  • The exam is online and can be taken from anywhere that has an internet connection.
  • There is a time limit on the exam.
  • Because you will need to control your own exam environment it is important that you try to find a computer that you can use in a quiet location.
  • In addition try to choose somewhere where you will not be interrupted while writing the exam.
  • In order to pass the exam you must get a score of 80% or higher.

Online IV Certification

IV certification can be earned online, which is very convenient considering that it is not always easy to give up your job in order to study further. There are a number of different associations and agencies through which you can receive certification. According to ehow.com “Those earning IV certification are often working professionals. Taking an online IV course offers scheduling convenience. It allows individuals to update their skills on their own time and with the ease of online accessibility”. Training courses of this kind are somewhere between $600 and $700 generally speaking and there are a number of offline and online options that you can make use of in order to adequately prepare yourself for the IV therapy certification exam through NAPNES or through another agency.

There are a number of advantages to becoming IV therapy certified, not least of which is the fact that you may get a raise if you do. In addition there are a number of job openings that you will stand a higher chance of being selected for if you have IV therapy certification. It is, essentially, a qualification that can open many doors for you and earn you a slightly higher degree of professional respect within the nursing industry, which is in itself a very meaningful reward. Different states have different rules regarding IV therapy certification, and it will be our own personal responsibility to look into the rules and regulations in your own state to determine whether you are eligible for the qualification.

Looking At LPN Clinicals

To become an LPN you have to do more than simply read a few books and memorize the information contained within. In order to become an LPN you also need to complete the required LPN clinicals. It is impossible to be an LPN if you do not, at some point in your training, engage in practice, hands-on clinical work to get the necessary experience you need to be a successful LPN.

Overview Of LPN Clinicals

Every nurse who aims to be an LPN has to do clinical work. There are several different areas that you could focus on when doing your LPN clinicals, but there are also a few topics and procedures that you will definitely cover regardless of what specialization you would one day like to hold as a nurse. These are general skills that you need to have in order to be an effective LPN. These include patient care, administration, gaining general experience, and learning what your professional duties and boundaries as a Licensed Practical Nurse will be.

Caring For Patients

This should seem like an obvious outcome of doing an LPN clinical. LPN clinicals are primarily aimed at ensuring that the nurses in an LPN program are able to effectively take the theory that they have learned and put it into practice in a real life situation. In LPN clinicals you will be repeatedly faced with the opportunity to actually deal with real live patients who need your care. This is the essential component involved in preparing you for a career in the field of licensed practical nursing. This part of your practical studies will occur in two parts:

  • Firstly you will closely observe nurses with current LPN licenses performing the daily patient care tasks that will one day be your responsibility.
  • As the training program progresses you will begin to take the reins and the responsibility for the patient and actually perform the patient care activities yourself.

Doing Administrative Work

Something that prospective LPNs often do not realize is that the job requires quite a lot of administrative work form your side. There is a lot of paperwork that goes into nursing and to a large degree this paperwork will be your responsibility. LPN clinicals will specifically train you to perform administrative duties in a medical setting. The tasks that you will be expected to become proficient in during your LPN clinical practice training will probably include some if not all of the following:

  • Filling out paperwork
  • Writing down medical histories
  • Maintaining medical records
  • Tracking inventory and supplies
  • Answering phone calls
  • Scheduling appointments

Administrative duties are a part of the nursing profession that you cannot hope to escape from, so it is important that you prepare yourself for a great deal of practical work in this area.

Getting Professional Experience

Clearly the main point of LPN clinicals is to provide you with a level of experience in the field of nursing that you otherwise would not have had. Specifically they aim to provide you with experience about how to behave in a professional healthcare environment. In your clinicals you may frequently be expected to work alongside healthcare professionals. This will help you to develop the necessary interaction and communication skills required for the profession. As an LPN you will have to deal with professionals on a daily basis, so this is a good practice. This will help you to:

  • Learn how to follow directions from RNs and doctors
  • Learn how to communicate with RNs and doctors
  • Become familiar with the required protocol and etiquette for a medical setting such as the kind you will encounter in your career as an LPN

Learning Specialized Duties

LPN Clinical
Your LPN clinicals are a perfect place for you to focus on acquiring skills for your future specialty as an LPN, or even as an RN. It is important that you try your best to take LPN clinicals that will help you prepare for the line of work that you would specifically like to become involved in. For example if you aim to one day work in a doctor’s office you should focus more intensively on the administrative duties that you will be required to do in an LPN clinical than on the emergency room skills that you will pick up on. In addition, if you want to work with the elderly try to do as many of your clinicals in retirement homes as you can so that you can gain as much experience with that portion of the population as you can.

Specialized LPN Clinicals

In addition to the general LPN clinicals that most LPNs do there are a number of what you could refer to as specialized LPN clinicals that are aimed at preparing you for a particular area of the healthcare domain that you would like to specialize in. In many cases you may not be able to choose which LPN clinical you can do, but if you are think carefully about whether or not you are interested in a particular aspect of nursing more than others and make an effort to do LPN clinicals that are specifically focused on that area of nursing.

Emergency Department

If you want to work in the emergency department of a hospital at some point in the future you should try for LPN clinicals that will prepare you for an emergency situation.

Important things that you will learn in an emergency LPN clinical include appropriate hand hygiene, how to check and monitor vital signs, the best methods of oxygen administration, how to conduct a head to toe assessment of a patient, how to take a patient history, the skills and procedures involved in catheterization, skills surrounding stitches, how to do IV insertions, how to draw blood, and, last but not least, learn how to set up hospital rooms.

Personality Requirements

Time is extremely important in these situations. One of the personality requirements you will need to have is an ability to manage your time well. You will also need to be able to keep a clear head.

Imaging

In the modern world we have many different ways of confirming or denying a diagnosis in patient, including things such as MRI monitors and CAT scans. Many LPN clinicals may focus on how to use these methods as well as how to operate the equipment required. In a real life situation LPNs are not responsible on their own for performing imaging procedures, but you may be required to assist. This is something that many LPNs find very interesting and you may therefore be interested in specializing in this area.

Personality Requirements

When it comes to imaging techniques and procedures one of the personality traits that could stand you in good stead is an attention to detail. As an LPN you will not be the primary person involved in imaging, but your input will be noted and you may be required to note your observations.

Medical Surgical Ward

If you want to work in the medical surgical ward you need to be prepared for hustle and bustle. The things that you may have to learn in this ward include: hand hygiene, how to assist with ADL’s, checking & monitoring VS, monitoring I&O, taking and observing daily weights, head to toe assessment, oxygen administration, giving subcutaneous injections, giving intramuscular injections, how to remove a nasogastric tube, how to discontinue an IV, how to do dry and wet dressing changes, how to engage in patient education, how to administer medications, how to use things like the E-MAR, how to help to discharge a patient, and how to create the necessary documentation.

Personality Requirements

Because this is usually a very busy floor to work on your ability to multi-task and not get flustered will stand you in good stead. Time management and organizational skills will allow you to get everything done that needs to be done.

Medication Observation

LPN clinicals will give you the opportunity to observe experienced nurses giving medications. In these clinicals you will learn about:

  • What medications need to be given to which situations and in what situations
  • How to crush the medication so that it is easier for the patient to take
  • How to change the taste of the medication in order to make it easier for a patient to take

This is one of the most important clinicals you will do as an LPN as the medication that you give to your patients is an essential part of the healing process and a mistake could be fatal.

Personality Requirements

Because a mistake can be so dangerous you will need attention to detail as well as the patience to take your time when administering medications so that you can stand a higher chance of avoiding errors.

Oncology

If you are interested in cancer and how to treat it, then you may want to focus on specialized LPN clinicals in the oncology ward of the healthcare facility where you are doing your practical work. In addition to many of the basic tasks that you will perform in most situations you will also have the opportunity to see things such as bone marrow biopsies, see how cancer patients receive chemotherapy via an IV, and, perhaps most importantly, learn ways to make chemotherapy easier for people.

Personality Requirements

Because chemotherapy is such a terrible ordeal to get through you will need to have a lot of empathy. In addition to this you will need to have good interpersonal and communication skills so that you can best serve the emotional needs of your patient during this difficult time.

Gerontology

Gerontology means working with the elderly. If this is an area that you are particularly interested in you should focus on LPN clinicals that involve the elderly and perhaps even try to do the clinical portion of your studies in a retirement home. In these homes you will learn appropriate hand hygiene, how to check and monitor vital signs, the best methods of oxygen administration, how to conduct a head to toe assessment of a patient, assist with ADL’s, administer medications to the elderly patients, give subcutaneous injections, help with feeding during meal times, do the occasional tube feeding, and do oxygen administration.

Personality Skills

To work in this area of healthcare you will need practically same personality skills and attributes as you would for cancer as these patients are also facing the question of inevitable death. A love for people in general and for the elderly in particular will stand you in good stead in this area of the health care profession.

Obstetrics And Maternity

This is a popular LPN clinical as it involves working with pregnant women and their babies. In a clinical in obstetrics or maternity up will learn how to check and monitor vital signs, give baby baths, help with a hearing tests, change diapers, help the mother with breast feeding, bring babies to and from their mothers, what is involved in a vaginal delivery of a baby, how a mother is stitched up after a c-section, how to do assessments for abnormalities, measure and record the baby’s height & weight, how to clean and prepare baby stations, now to view APGAR scoring, and how to use ABC’s.

Personality Requirements

You will need a love of children as well as a naturally caring personality in order to work as an LPN in this regard.

As you can see you may have the opportunity to have a fair amount of freedom in your choice of which LPN clinical you would like to do as an LPN in training. Just keep in mind that you will need to have a certain kind of personality for each of the different areas of specialization. If you are really set on a course of action make sure that you have clearly thought about what the position in that specialty will in fact entail in the long run. Your specialty is not a decision to be made lightly.