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Travel Infusion Nurse FAQs
What is an Infusion Nurse?
Infusion nurses are registered nurses who specialize in administering medications, IV therapies, fluids, or IV nutrition through peripheral intravenous lines, PICCs, central venous catheters, or venous access ports. They are integral members of the healthcare team and collaborate with an array of healthcare providers to ensure the infusion devices and treatments selected are best suited to patients’ needs.
Infusion nursing has become a very specialized field with treatments becoming more complex each year and infusion nurses ensure patients always receive safe, high-quality care. Infusion nurses enjoy an interesting career with extremely diverse responsibilities that differ from those of a typical bedside nurse.
What does an infusion nurse do?
Infusion nurses ensure patients receive the correct IV therapies in a safe, appropriate manner. They administer a wide array of therapies, including IV antibiotics and monoclonal antibodies. Infusion nurses also administer blood products, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, fluids for hydration, nutritional supplements, and plasmapheresis, among others. Other job duties include:
Performing patient assessments
Assessing line sites and patency
Inserting and maintaining peripheral IVs, PICCS, CVCs, and venous access ports
Monitoring patients’ IVs, fluids being administered, and responses to therapy
Monitoring for adverse reactions to IV therapies
Changing dressings on PICCs, midlines, and central lines
Reviewing relevant lab values and drug information
Maintaining infusion devices to prevent IV-related complications
Adhering to infection control and prevention protocols
Teaching IV, CVC, and PICC insertion techniques
Collaborating with various healthcare professionals
Infusion nurses also educate patients, their families, and caregivers on various topics, such as the rationale for IV therapy, central line care, possible side effects or adverse reactions to therapy, and signs and symptoms of infections that should be addressed immediately.
Where do infusion nurses work?
Infusion nursing is a broad specialty and infusion nurses are employed in a vast array of settings, including inpatient and outpatient healthcare settings. Infusion nurses can work at hospitals, clinics, outpatient surgical centers, oncology facilities, private practices, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, and long-term care facilities, among others. They may also be employed at infusion centers, medical day spas, outpatient pharmacies, and patient’s homes.
What skills make a good infusion nurse?
Gifted infusion nurses have exceptional IV skills, including tremendous skill at performing venipuncture with as little discomfort as possible. They’re extremely competent in working with various vascular access devices required for infusions and highly knowledgeable on different IV medications, blood products, and fluids administered during IV therapies.
Good infusion nurses possess keen assessment and monitoring skills to ensure patient comfort and safety and always take appropriate infection control precautions. They have top-notch organizational skills that allow them to handle multiple patients of varying needs with compassion, patience, and the utmost confidence. Oral and written communication skills, attention to detail, and a dedication to lifetime learning are common traits of successful infusion nurses.
How to become an Infusion Travel Nurse
The first step towards a career as an infusion travel nurse is becoming an RN by earning either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program, then passing the NCLEX-RN registered nurse licensing exam. RNs must obtain Basic Life Support certification and facilities may require other certifications based on specific infusion nursing duties.
Prospective infusion nurses should obtain bedside clinical experience where they can learn essential IV insertion skills and receive training in administering various types of infusion therapy. Medical facilities often prefer infusion nurses to be certified, which can be accomplished by earning Certified Registered Nurse Infusion credentials from the Infusion Nurses Society. Many travel nurse employers require two-plus years of infusion experience.