Peripheral intravenous therapy management
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Peripheral intravenous therapy management

Barbara Workman Senior Lecturer in the School of Health, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Middlesex University

Many nurses are involved in the management of peripheral intravenous therapy. Using scenarios of common presenting problems and evidence-based interventions, this article describes rationales for best practice. Readers are encouraged to critically appraise their own practice and to consider ways to improve the standard of intravenous therapy in their clinical area. This article first appeared in Nursing Standard, 14, 4, 53-60. Readers who successfully completed a written ‘practice profile assessment’ on that occasion may not do so again

Aims and intended learning outcomes

Nursing knowledge and practice in relation to peripheral intravenous therapy are inconsistent and variable, depending on local initiatives and clinical guidelines (Campbell 1998a, Clayton et al 1999). The three fundamental principles of care for intravenous therapy (IVT) can be summarised as asepsis, comfort and safety (DHSS 1976). After reading this article you should be able to:

Review the indications for peripheral IVT.

Analyse common problems of IVT and discuss effective clinical management and preventive nursing measures for these problems.

Discuss the information and education that patients and their visitors may require during a course of IVT.

Outline the nursing responsibilities while caring for a patient receiving IVT.

Emergency Nurse. 7, 9, 31-39. doi: 10.7748/en2000.