Teaching Students about Intravenous Therapy: Increased Competence and Confidence


Aim/Purpose: Graduate nurses require competency in IV therapy. Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs offer elective IV education to provide additional information for interested students. After instituting such a course, students' perceived comfort and knowledge of IV therapy were evaluated.

Review of Relevant Literature: Studies demonstrated that IV education for nurses in practice helped reduce complication rates. Dated research also indicated that nursing programs were reluctant to provide IV instruction that included advanced skills, such as catheter insertions. More recent literature involved teaching methodology.

Methods: A researcher-designed survey was distributed at the completion of an ADN program to evaluate perceived knowledge and comfort related to IV therapy, as well as information about IV education throughout the program.

Results: Students who participated in the workshop perceived having a higher level of comfort and knowledge of several IV content areas than those who participated in the course or had no elective IV education. Conversely, participants in the workshop and course felt more comfortable with central line dressing changes and IV insertions than students who did not take either IV educational offering.

Conclusions: The standard IV education appeared to provide adequate knowledge and comfort with IV therapy. However, optional IV education benefited students who wanted more in depth IV knowledge and skills.

Implications for Practice: The best methods for teaching ADN students about IV therapy remains unknown. However, offering an elective course provides opportunities for interested students to increase their knowledge and comfort related to IV therapy prior to graduation.

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Journal of the Association for Vascular Access

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