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Intravenous Therapy City Health

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Course overview

The course aims to prepare practitioners for safe and effective administration of medications/fluids via the intravenous route. Principles in the care of both peripheral and central vascular access devices are explored. The theoretical component of the study-day focuses on: basic pharmacology of the IV route; the indications for IV therapy; a review of relevant drug calculations; care of both peripheral and central vascular access devices; principles of aseptic non-touch technique in IV practice; and potential complications of IV therapy. Participants will also have the opportunity to practice re-constitution of drug for IV administration and the preparation of both a bolus and an intermittent infusion.

Course outcomes

Course outcomes

You will learn to:

  • List the indications for administering drugs via the intravenous (IV) route;
  • Discuss the professional issues for registered nurses delivering IV therapy;
  • Use mathematical calculations related to the administration of IV therapy;
  • Discuss the differences between peripheral and central vascular access;
  • Describe the anatomical positioning and components of a skin-tunnelled central venous access device and an implantable injection port;
  • Define bolus and intermittent infusion in the context of intravenous therapy;
  • Describe the principles of care for a VAD insertion site.
  • Describe the principles of aseptic non-touch technique in IV administration practice;
  • Demonstrate aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT) to reconstitute a powder drug for intravenous administration;
  • Demonstrate ANTT in the administration of a bolus and a free-flow intermittent infusion;
  • Explain the local and systemic complications of IV drug therapy.



Prerequisite knowledge

The course is designed for registered practitioners whose role (or potential role) involves the administration of medications/fluid/blood products via the intravenous route.



  • PowerPoint lecture;
  • Question and answer;
  • Group discussion;
  • Demonstration of skills by the tutor;
  • Practice of skills within a skills-lab environment.

Assessment is ongoing.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Dougherty, L., Lamb, J. (2008) Intravenous therapy in nursing practice. 2nd Ed. Blackwell publishing. Oxford.

Greenstein, B (2009) Trounce’s clinical pharmacology for nurses. 18th Ed. Churchill Livingstone.

Hudman, L., Bodenham, A. (2013) Practical aspects of long-term venous access. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain. 13 (1) 6-11

Kelly, L. (2008) The care of vascular access devices in community care. British Journal of Community Nursing. 13 (5), 198-205

Loveday, H, Wilson, J, Pratt, R, Golsorkhi, M, Tingle, A, Bak, J, Browne, J, Prieto, J, Wilcox, M (2014) epic3: National Evidence-Based Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in NHS Hospitals in England. Journal of Hospital Infection 86S1, S1-S70

McKay, G., Reid, L., Walters, M. (2010). Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. 8th Ed. Wiley-Blackwell. West Sussex.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2010) Standards for medicines management. NMC. London

Ogston-Tuck, S. (2012) Intravenous therapy: guidance on devices, management and care. British Journal of Community Nursing. 17 (10), 474-484

Royal College of Nursing. (2010) Standards for infusion therapy. 3rd Ed. RCN. London

Scales, K. (2010) Central venous access devices: Part 2 for intermediate and long-term use. British Journal of Nursing. 19 (5), S20-S25

Tripathi, R., Rooney, K. (2011) Policy for intravenous administration of medication: adults and children. East London Foundation NHS Trust