Question for Infusion Therapy Nurses


Hi there-

I have a question for those who can answer. I am completing an RN Refresher course after a 7 year break from nursing. In the 4 years that I worked as a nurse prior to that, I worked in medical/surgical, medical-oncology and palliative care. I have a lot of experience with IV starts and phlebotomies, as well as accessing/managing virtually every different kind of port. I am getting ready to do the clinical portion of my Refresher course and a local hospital has 3 open job postings for their Infusion Team/Inpatient Infusion Clinic. I am extremely interested in doing my preceptorship here and pursuing employment thereafter. I am not certified to start PICC lines but would like to be. Is this a long shot to request as a placement, or should I go for it? Any thoughts/guidance would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

OK let me tell you a few things here to guide you. A lot of things have changed in the last 7 years and infusion therapy products have changed quite a bit. In addition, there has been so many new drugs out you will need to study to get back in the groove. I do not think it is a long shot but my concern is that you will need to be prepared and show you will do what it takes to be a success.

1.The term PICC certified is not quite accurate and each board of nursing has slightly different requirements. You will need to take a didactic and then clinically trained until you are deemed competent. According to research this generally takes 20-50 PICC insertions when using advanced techniques of MST and Ultrasound insertion. What state are you in? if you are interested and get an interview try to come with the didactic already done...they will know you are serious.

2. Outpatient infusion and working on an IV team/PICC team are similar but different. You administer a lot more medications,chemotherapy,blood and blood products and biologics that you do on an IV team. IV team is a lot more of inserting IVs PICCs,port access,all types of CVC dressing changes and all and any IV problems you can imagine. You will need to learn all the new drugs and most likely become chemo-therapy certified.

3. Try to get the job description for this job. it sounds like the nurses work in both areas. You need to have a plan to get all the requirements done.

4. DO NOT be discouraged. I sit in on a lot of interviews and I would rather reccomend someone with less experience and train them than someone who is difficult and does not get along with others and has tons of experience.

5 Remember that IV Therapy is not just getting an IV or PICC in you must also have the knowledge to deal with all kinds of problems and answer all kind of IV related questions. So you have to study and keep up. I even have MDs calling me and asking if they can administer such and such through a midline and if not what do I think a good option is. I saw a pretty bad blood infiltrate the other day and was able to tell the MD what exactly I was concerned about ( blood is considered a 4+infiltration). I would have not known that unless I had studied it. Somehow express that you will continue to learn and study on your own and seek an IV specialist mentor. You may want to consider becoming a CRNI,once you have some more experience.

So go for it...just be and come prepared for the interview. feel free to PM for any advice...have been an IV/PICCnurse for 23 yrs of my 27 yr career


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I have a question, general in nature, but I really need the answer alot is riding on this... I had a patient 14 months old who the pediatric nurse's put in a 25g iv in her hand... that was fine, they taped it with the opsite on the hand over the port,... they left the arm board on and used cloth tape to secure the iv line to the arm board, my patients hand was swollen from her fingers and her upper arm just under her anticubical. They ran the tape over the fingers and around the wrist. Tape was around the entire arm board. The patient c/o that it hurt, I pulled the iv out and applied warm compress's over the swelling and elevated the arm. I was written up for this, something that i didn't even do! personally cloth tape has many uses but it does not include this. It was never meant to be used as a device to hold iv sites inplace. I know alot of nurse practice this but we are going to court for this very case, and I don't think 3m is gonna back the nurse who secured the iv using the cloth tape. Any advice from anyone? I know alot of damage could of resulted from this 1. comparment syndrome 2. 3rd spacing which caused the pain, 3. loss of limb from tissue damage. 4. nerve damage while limb is kept immoble

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