IV Skills for Hospice?

by 4boysmama 4boysmama Member Nurse

Specializes in Hospice + Palliative. Has 4 years experience.

I'm currently a SNF unit nurse, just accepted a new position with home hospice. In my current job, we have an IV team that places all lines and phlebotomist that does lab draws, so I've got virtually NO experience in either. I'm anxious about having to do them once I'm out in the field (though I'm confident that my new company will train me well beforehand, I'm still nervous about being alone in the field without "backout" in case I miss). I'm curious how often you have had to do IV starts or blood draws in your home hospice work?



50 Posts

In my three years as a RNCM, I have never had to start an iv or do phelbotmy.

Jensmom7, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 36 years experience. 1,907 Posts

I don't even HAVE any IV or phlebotomy supplies in my bag!



Specializes in Hospice Nursing. 134 Posts

When I did home hospice (now in an inpatient hospice unit), I probably had one blood draw and one IV start in about 3 years. We always had a nurse on our team that was proficient at this so we could use her as a resource.

Jack Hazz, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Worked ER, Med-Surg, ICU & ALF-Dementia. Has 17 years experience. 57 Posts

So far, I have yet to draw blood or start an IV. Hospice frowns on IV because the disadvantage actually outweighs the benefits by a lot for someone who is dying. Plus medicare (if they have medicare, which is most of my patients) does not think hospice to consider IV therapy (though I heard medicare has changed their position on this and given hospices more leeway). My current hospice company does consider IV but we have a dedicated infusion team to do it for us. I'd love to do it though as I sometimes miss the time when I started hundreds of IV when I was still at the ER and ICU before.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 12 years experience. 1 Article; 776 Posts

We don't do peripheral IVs. We access ports and PICCS, sub-q is another option. Have you asked your company what methods of med administration they use?

We do some blood draws - mostly PT/INR, occasionally something else is ordered.

Is your hospice affiliated with a hospital or do they provide home care also? If so, there may be more opportunities for gaining proficiency.


GrumpyRN63, ADN, RN

Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative. 833 Posts

Never blood draws or peripheral IV's. Accessing POC's, PICC's and SQ's for pain pumps.



Specializes in Hospice. Has 2 years experience. 73 Posts

I work on a hospice inpatient unit. I do start IVs regularly, I also worked in the field and did do them but not regularly. Don't let this stop you, they will train you and you will be great.



149 Posts

Once a month x a few months, I may have to flush a port. Occasionally, I have a patient/family that insists on IVF for "dehydration". We teach but also try to accommodate. Blood draws maybe 2-3 times per year on average.