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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 (including nurses, radiographers, pharmacists) 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