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Outpatient infusion/transfusion vs Vascular Access Team?

Infusion   (304 Views | 4 Replies)

skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

1,981 Profile Views; 67 Posts

Hello all, I would love some perspective!

I am looking at two potential jobs: assuming I get an offer for each, which do you think might be better?

One is an outpatient IV infusion/transfusion clinic attached to a major area hospital.  It would be 0.6 FTE with benefits, with weekend hours available, which is good for my schedule.

The other is a resource/per diem position on the vascular access team at a major level 1 trauma center in the area (that pays better, btw).  I am not clear on the call situation or too many other details yet; I was interviewing with the same nurse manager for an apheresis RN position, and we both agreed the VAT might be a better fit for me, but the position hasn't been posted yet (darn holidays).

I have done a bit of IV therapy in an oncology setting for a few months, and in a naturopathic/integrative clinic for a few months, plus many IV starts throughout my 9 years as an RN, and 3 years as a phlebotomist.  I can access ports but have never started central lines, PICCs, etc, though I am very interested.  I enjoy hyper-focused detailed tasks that require my full attention, rather than the multi-tasking flurry of med-surg or operating room.

I am in full time grad school and need something flexible and with relatively little stress compared to the operating room (my current "specialty"). Honestly I am not certain I can manage a 0.6 FTE with school, but, health insurance....

I am less familiar with the VAT nursing vibe but I think I would LOVE going from room to room and helping people get the vascular access they need.  Can you tell me about this kind of job, especially in a major hospital?  High stress?  I imagine you get plenty of miles on the ol' FitBit.  Do you think a nurse with 9 years experience, mostly OR with some IV therepy and a phlebotomy background, could rock a VAT nurse position, or do I need some other experience first?

I like the outpatient infusion/transfusion option as well; possibly less stress?  This one would give me health insurance as well, so I have to consider that.  It might also be better experience for a VAT position in the future.

Any thoughts on comparing the two types of jobs would be much appreciated!  I love doing IVs and have been wanting something like this for years, but not sure which would be a better fit for being in school the next 3.5 years. 

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scribblz has 13 years experience as a BSN, CNA, LPN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion.

57 Posts; 1,608 Profile Views

Hi skydancer,

If you are looking for casual per diem home infusion would be quite easy for someone with your skill set. IVIG infusions for example can be 4 or 5 hours. Once you mix the med, establish access, you could literally do homework for hours just taking a few vital signs as needed. Then just work enough hours somewhere else to provide you with insurance.

Take care!

Scribblz

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7 Followers; 3,443 Posts; 24,348 Profile Views

You say you have IV experience but how good are you at them? Seriously not trying to sound like a snot but it really is a thing. VAT nurses need to be better than the average bear. 

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scribblz has 13 years experience as a BSN, CNA, LPN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, Geriatrics, home infusion.

57 Posts; 1,608 Profile Views

6 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

You say you have IV experience but how good are you at them? Seriously not trying to sound like a snot but it really is a thing. VAT nurses need to be better than the average bear. 

You're right they do, and I'm working my way there. I dangle that arm, apply that tourniquet and pray for a good vein. Often times I see the same clients for their weekly or monthly home infusions so I know where their good spots are. In patient if I can't get a line in our IV team has been wonderful in giving me feedback on what I can do to improve. I'm probably all things considered average at the moment, but someday I hope to be excellent.

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skydancer7 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Operating Room, CNOR.

67 Posts; 1,981 Profile Views

I'd say I am pretty solid and definitely better than average at starting IV's but not "the best"; we still always grab one of two anesthesia docs for the incredibly hard sticks.  I was the only RN on shift at an IV therapy clinic, and I always got the IV in and working, for every patient, almost always just one poke.  That plus 3 years as a phlebotomist has me feeling very confident starting IVs, but I know the VAT and infusion nursing involves more than just short peripheral lines. 

I don't have ultrasound guidance experience yet, and I know they do US guided access at one of these hospital VAT gigs.  

Would you say outpatient infusion is less stressful than hospital vascular access team?

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