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IV Certification: How Does a Tech Get Certified?

Career News September 11, 2013

The healthcare field is becoming more and more specialized creating the need for people with particular experience and educational backgrounds like those who have an IV certification.

When treating a patient requires the use of intravenous therapy there are many issues to be aware of whether fluids, blood or medications are being administered. An IV Technician’s job is to oversee the IV portion of treatment, freeing up doctors and nurses to focus their attention on the patient and other, more complex care issues.

Obtaining an IV certification adds valuable skills to a resume, making the tech a vital part of a healthcare team. Those skills and knowledge are also useful when continuing education, for those who choose to go on to obtain advanced degrees and wish to practice as a doctor or registered or advanced degree nurse.

Prerequisites

Usually the people who choose to go through an IV certification course are already in the medical field. People who are Emergency Medical Technicians, Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses, Medical Assistants or Pharmacy Techs, are the most likely to get certified as an IV Tech.

They are the ones who find themselves in circumstances where knowing how to properly administer and monitor intravenous therapy could be useful. They have basic to intermediate medical knowledge and skills that give them a foundation helpful in learning how to prepare and insert an IV, in addition to other important details of IV therapy protocol.

Typical Course

IV certification courses are available through many colleges and technical schools and can even be taken as a partial home-study or online class. Because IV therapy requires interaction with patients and relies on the IV Tech being skilled and knowledgeable in practice, there are typically at least two days of applied training (hands-on) and a week to 10 days of technique validation in which the students are evaluated on their skills.

There is usually written testing on the home-study materials with a required 70% score or better as the tests and the validation process combine to pass or fail the students.

Home study can be done at the students’ own pace, although the hands-on training and the skills testing are usually coordinated on specific dates throughout the year that those seeking an IV certification must schedule to attend in order to complete their certification.

Subjects that are covered during a typical IV Therapy Certification class include:

•Fluid and electrolyte balance
•Sterilization and infection control
•Central venous access
•Intravenous nutrition
•Clinical decision making
•IV therapy techniques
•Shock analysis and treatment

Job Outlook with an IV Certification

Those LPN’s, EMT’s, MA’s and Pharmacy Techs who have an IV certification bring to their jobs a significant skill that renders them indispensable to their employers and their coworkers.

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track IV Technicians specifically, the outlook for those careers in which an IV certification would be useful are all growing at a faster than average pace. For example, LPN jobs are expected to increase by 22%, Medical Assistants by 31%, Pharmacy Techs by 32%, and EMT’s by in impressive 33%, all by the year 2020. Although each of these jobs has a basis in medicine and healthcare, they are vastly different in regards to work environment and ultimately in the duties and tasks they perform.

The promise of stable job growth, and the opportunities that obtaining an IV certification, can make it worth the minimal time spent to gain the qualifications and skills associated with becoming an IV Technician.

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