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Do you need formal training to manage intravenous infusions?

  • Comments (44)

In latest guidance NICE warned that as many as one in five patients on IV fluids and electrolytes suffer complications or even die due to their inappropriate administration.

It said a lack of formal training was a “major concern” that was putting lives at risk. It is calling on nurses and doctors in England and Wales to become better educated in how to safely care for patients given IV fluid therapy.

NICE has recommended measures to improve education and training, including practical steps to make decision-making clearer, simpler and safer.

The guideline highlights that IV fluid therapy should always be given as part of a protocol and includes a one-page, step-by-step guide on assessing whether patients need a n IV and if they do, what fluids should be given and how long for.

 

News story: NICE issues IV guidance in bid to improve drip safety

 

Have you had training to manage IV infusions?

Has your competency been assessed?

Do you think formal training is needed?

 

  • Comments (44)

Readers' comments (44)

  • What is taught by the universities ,

    Do they concentrate on touchy feely stuff only ?

    Where is the real life knowledge which permits someone to practice safely.

    Why do nurses "qualify" with a massive knowledge deficit that has to be corrected post registration ?


    Perhaps the "EDUCATORS " need to return to school !

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  • Anonymous

    reading these columns there now seems to be quite a few basic but essential skills which used to be an integral part of nurse training now lacking in newly qualified nurses due to new material being taught. is the undergrad. basic training course long enough for the current demands of nursing?

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  • Yup, I agree with my colleagues above.

    As a student nurse, I was taught about infusions & safe management of fluids and drugs by this route from the outset. Qualified clinical teachers monitored my knowledge and practice as safe before I was allowed to handle infusions.

    It's so easy to damage people when you have direct access to their bloodstream or CNS. We need every single student to be able to manage IVs & other lines safely.

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  • Anonymous

    The problem is not necessarily the universities. In my experience employing trusts insist that newly qualified nurses have to pass the trust's own training programme in drug administration; that they are qualified for at least 6 months or may be longer before they undertake their trust specific i/v training; even if the student passes assessments on these in their final trimester of their course. Trusts insist that you undertake their training in skills such as venepuncture, cannulation etc, when you move between trusts; you can't even transfer Health and Safety training between trusts even though there is a legal requirement for it.

    There needs to be a national level of certification for:
    a) drugs administration
    b) i/v management and administration
    c) venepuncture
    d) cannulation
    e) all H&S related courses

    which would mean that students could obtain a, b & e at university and would be accepted regardless of where they were employed.
    Registered nurses who wished to undertake c & d could do so and know that they could change employers safe in the knowledge that they could continue using those skills.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 17-Dec-2013 11:40 am

    Or just make sure that all of the above are included in the degree course of every single student!

    I see comments here almost daily talking about the need for nurses holding a degree in these days of increasingly complex interventions. I have always been a great supporter of a degree based profession. But we really need to sort out the content to adequately prepare nurses for their job.

    I agree with Jenny Jones. Why are nurses qualifying with such deficits?

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  • Anonymous

    anonymous 6.30 pm
    please re-read my post, in my area most of the above ARE included on the course in the final trimester. However, the local employing trusts insist that NQNs have to undertake their own training, the don't accept the uniiversity's training. It is NOT solely an education issue at the Universities but also the employing trusts. 6 months post qualification - drugs administration. 12- 18 months post registration - i/v administration.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 18-Dec-2013 9:34 am

    "...in my area most of the above ARE included on the course in the final trimester."

    Please re-read my post. Make sure that ALL (i.e. NOT MOST OR SOME) of the above are included in the degree course. The students that I mentor DO NOT cover cannulation or venepuncture during their university course, which is why my trust has to send them on a course and get them certified, post registration. Too much time and much money (which is why it takes a while to get on a course) is being spent bringing newly qualified nurses up to a basic standard. It is solely an education issue. These should now be considered essential/basic skills for every nurse and should be included in their course.

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  • Anonymous

    This is odd. There's no legal requirement for local chitties to be issued to certify competence in such technical tasks for medics, so why for nurses? It seems to be a bit of gravy train for educators.

    If newly qualified nurses can't manage such tasks, we need to take this up with universities. It's basic stuff these days.

    So why all the extra costs and hassle for trusts?

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 18-Dec-2013 11:34 am

    Exactly.

    However, it is typical of Nursing and its approach to education and training. Nursing has become more of a 'task orientated' profession than it ever was and is obsessed with certification. I think that it is a symptom of Nursing's massive inferiority complex. It seeks to constantly justify ability and competence through worthless bits of paper.

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  • Anonymous

    I agree with many of the comments. I first trained in cannulation and venepuncture shortly after qualifying nearly 30 years ago. My first staff nurse post was a small, remote community hospital where I had to learn skills which, had I remained in a big teaching hospital, I would not have had the needed to learn for a few years. I wanted to work abroad and knew that these skills would be required. So I have been able to perform venepuncture, cannulate and administer IV drugs for all of my post-reg years. Through changes of job and, within those jobs, constant changes to post-reg education requirements, I have had to 're-certify' and update these skills countless times over the years, yet no one has once assessed me or required me to re-certify with regard to normal administration of medicines, which I do on a daily basis.

    I would not have believed then that 30 years later, these skills would not be taught as part of the Nursing curriculum.

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