If you are the first person to volunteer to perform an injection or if you are ecstatic when you are assigned a patient with an intravenous infusion, infusion nursing may be a specialty for you. After a nurse finishes his or her degree, the next exciting step is discovering a specific nursing specialty to focus on. Nurses possess the ability to immerse themselves into a specialty of interest in which commitment and dedication occur naturally; planning and weighing of pros and cons is an essential process in choosing the exact field. Advanced studies of nursing have opened highly specialized practices such as Infusion Nursing.
As an infusion nurse, it is vital to comprehend the basics of intravenous (IV) injection or IV fluid administration. Establishing a comfort with infusions safeguards yourself and your patient. Many nurses carry the skills perform infusions, but their preference does not lean toward becoming an IV expert − these are the nurses who will turn to you for your knowledge and infusion skills. As the skilled professional you will monitor and analyze IVs, patient status, the patient’s record of medication, as well as the patient’s psychological needs continually.
The evolution of Infusion therapy is centered on uplifting the needs of the chronically ill and patients who require sensitive and specialized treatments within hospitals, private offices, and patient’s homes. Infusion nursing is more than providing care and treatments; it adopts a superior holistic principle of the core of nursing and medicine. Understanding the overall management of improving the patient’s care plan is essential to an infusion nurse’s role. This specialized practice requires nurses to acquire advanced education in various aspects of patient care, such as pharmacology and new technology.
Several educational requirements are imperious want to delve into tackling the challenge of infusion therapy and administering intravenous medications:
- A diploma in nursing, whether an associate degree (ASN), a bachelor degree (BSN), or master degree (MSN), is the foundation for becoming an infusion nurse.
- A passing grade on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
- Work experience as a Registered Nurse (RN) for at least a year.
- Exposure in an infusion-related department during your time as registered nurse (RN). The minimum requirement is 1,600 hours or 2 months total.
- Take the Certified Registered Nurse Infusion or CRNI® exam from the Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation (INCC). This is the premium certification for this field enabling you to easily obtain an infusion therapy position.
Job Description & Duties
An infusion nurse’s main role is to ensure patients are provided intravenous medication and other fluids harmlessly. It is pertinent for infusion nurses to maintain a strict and detailed focus as they monitor the patient’s infusions − keen awareness and knowledge of infusion sets and venous and arterial catheters is critical.
Infusion Nursesare not only in hospitals or the ICU, these nurses can be found working in hospice, long-term care, private homes, ambulance, clinics, and other health centers. An infusion nurse can have a sub-specialty. One example is a nurse specializing in providing intravenous nutritional therapy by administering vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients directly into the bloodstream. This nurse plans, evaluates, and implements interventions for a wide variety of conditions, including infections (cold/flu), allergies, fatigue, migraines/headaches, fibromyalgia, depression, and nutrient deficiencies. Providing the patient and family with psychosocial and emotional support is an imperative complement to implementing this and any type of IV therapy. Infusion nurses need to take a step-by-step approach to IV insertion to ensure safety and accuracy every time.
Job Outlook and Salary
Aside from a well-paying position, Infusion nurses have copious opportunities for career growth. Depending on the city and state, the average pay is $40,000-$60,000; but the median or average expected salary in the United States, is just a little over $70,000. Experience as a nurse will effect your yearly salary. In addition, a hospital or long-term care center may pay a higher salary than a primary care or outpatient office. An infusion-focused nurse may also have the opportunity to take on per diem opportunities, which mean there is leeway when determining how many hours to work in a day.
Job outlook for infusion nurses is on the rise as a great deal of responsibility is settling down onto nurse’s shoulders. Patient loads may increase as a result of the Affordable Care Act, taking effect in 2014, increasing the amount of individuals who carry insurance.This is an opportunity for infusion nurses to validate their skills by providing high-quality care to save money. Infusion nurses deliver economical care by decreasing waste of supplies and catheters and by maximizing treasured nursing time. Additionally, when nursing knowledge and skills are tapped to the maximal extent, patients reap the benefits.
References and Further Reading
- Infusion Nurses Society www.ins1.org
- Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation www.incc1.org
- Journal of Infusion Nursing www.journalofinfusionnursing.com
- National League for Nursing http://www.nln.org/
- American Society of Registered Nurses http://www.asrn.org/
About the Author
Sarah Gehrke, RN, MSN, has 15 years of professional experience in infusion services. She specializes in providing intravenous (I.V.) nutritional therapy by administering [...]