From CRNAs to IV/PICC nurses, the Year of the Nurse story series is recognizing our colleagues in infusion therapy. Lakeland Community College's Interim Nursing Program Director Connie Bowler, DNP, RN, reached out to the national leadership of the Infusion Nurses Society, an organization that is dedicated to advancing the delivery of quality infusion therapy to patients, through stringent standards of practice and professional ethics to gain their insights and perspective.
Here is Mary's story as told to Dr. Bowler.
Mary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI, CAE, FAAN, the Chief Nursing Officer of the Infusion Nurses Society, graciously agreed to share her thoughts. As an advocate for patients and the specialty of infusion therapy, Mary offered the following reflection on the impact IV nursing has had on the profession:
“With infusion care delivered to all patient populations (from the neonate to the older adult) and in all settings (from hospital/acute care to ambulatory infusion centers to home), infusion nurses have made significant contributions to the profession. As members of the health care team, infusion nurses provide care and support throughout the course of the patient’s treatment recognizing that infusion care is not limited to IV/device placement, but includes care and management with attention to prevent infusion-related complications.
"Infusion nurses incorporate the best available evidence and research in their practice, use technology to assist in performing advanced procedures (eg, ultrasound-guided IV placement, ECG-based technology to confirm central line tip location), teach colleagues and patients/caregivers about safe infusion care, and provide cost-efficient care while promoting vascular preservation and greater patient satisfaction. They also seek to achieve and maintain board certification in infusion nursing.”
For those interested in entering the field, Mary says, “It is imperative they understand the invasive nature of the specialty and the patient risks associated with the practice. Training and education, including hands-on skills development, are necessary to achieve competency for IV device insertion, care and management, and removal. Knowledge of the 'Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice' and understanding one’s legal scope of practice are needed to ensure one is competent to practice. Seek resources, such as those offered by the Infusion Nurses Society, to support and enhance your practice.”
We appreciate Mary’s thoughts and contributions!