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Online IV Certification and Skills Competencies

The concept of online IV education and certification is often met with raised eyebrows and the question of “How can you learn to start an IV online?”. I meet that question with the standard answer of “there is so much more to ‘IV Certification’ than the insertion of an IV catheter”. 

The didactic portion of IV education can easily, and in my opinion, more efficiently be presented in an online format.  As I have stated in previous blog posts, "Why Online IV Education and Certification Beats Traditional Classroom Education," the online presentation of IV education is actually a more cost effective and superior method over traditional classroom presentation because it overcomes many obstacles that are prevalent with traditional classroom presentations. Some of the superior features of Pedagogy’s online infusion education are the options that are available to the online learner.  Materials are presented at:
  • The learner's preferred pace
  • The student's preferred time of learning 24/7/365
  • Courses may be stopped and started as the individual’s schedule allows
  • Stop/start features allow the learner to absorb material at a pace that suits their learning style
  • Built in encyclopedia/dictionaries allow the students to “drill down” into subject material that they may not be familiar with
  • Videos and links to infusion equipment manufacturer’s website allow the student to learn about the equipment used within their work environment
  • Courses are always presented in the exact same format lending to uniform standards and not the inconsistencies seen between multiple instructors
  • Read aloud features enhance the audial learners grasp and understanding of content
These are just a few of the advantages of online IV education. The didactic portion and clinical knowledge of IV education is verified through successful passing of exams, this is typical of college courses, traditional classroom IV courses, as well as online IV education. 

Now let’s talk about the obvious; there are skills and a hands-on component that must accompany nursing education whether it is taught in the classroom or in an online format.  Most state boards of nursing indicate that it is the employer’s responsibility to deem a nurse competent in any nursing skill. 

This is accomplished through skills testing and observation of the clinician performing specific tasks in an appropriate manner. 

It is also necessary that the employer complete competency verifications, so that they are ensured the nurse is aware of the employer’s policy and procedures.  In many states it is the employer’s policy and procedure that dictates what infusion procedures LPN’s and LVN’s may perform.  Therefore the nurse’s accurate knowledge of what the policies actually state is vital to their nursing practice.

With online IV education and certification the hands on skills are completed with a preceptor within the facility or agency.  Whether the infusion education was learned online or in a classroom, this is a necessary function for the employer to complete.  Even with most traditional classroom IV educators they do not provide a statement that the nurses is competent in a skill.  They simply provide a piece of paper that states a practice catheter insertion was performed.

For facilities wanting to access the advantages of online IV education, I suggest that all nurses, including preceptors and staff educators, be provided the online education course(s).  It is important to set a deadline date for the completion of this education; otherwise you may have “stragglers” that never complete education.  Once everyone has successfully completed their online education, schedule a day for practice and skill competency verification.  Pedagogy infusion education courses contain the skill competency checklists required that can be easily followed by your in house educator or staff development coordinators. 



Many facilities have mannequin arms to facilitate the check-off of peripheral catheter insertions, but if you would like a more realistic insertion experience without the need for expensive equipment check out our “Pedagogy Hand”.  OK It is GOOFY- but fun and effective!

In summary, as with ALL IV education and “certification” courses whether completed in a traditional classroom or in an online format, 2 components are required; didactic education and hands on skill competency verification. 

Pedagogy blog written by Capra Dalton, RN. Capra Dalton is our CEO and author of Pedagogy online continuing education courses.

Capra Dalton, Registered Nurse, has more than 26 years of experience in infusion therapy and the instruction of licensed nurses in infusion therapy continuing education. Her experience comes from multiple infusion settings: acute care, ambulatory infusion centers, home infusion, long term care continuing education provider, and long term care pharmacy quality assurance consultant.

As the CEO, Capra is responsible for all operational aspects of Pedagogy, including education course content, author recruitment, and management. She is a member of the Infusion Nurses Society (INS), the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Services (NAPNES), and the Council of Practical Nurse Educators (COPNE), and presented at a recent Texas Health Care Association convention on “Nurses Meeting the Changing Needs of LTC Residents - IV’s and PICC Lines.” Capra received her nursing education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Capra has an avid interest in holistic healing, nutrition, herbs, and alternative therapies for the treatment of disease in humans as well as animals. She and her husband, Patrick, live near Tyler, Texas, with their two teenage daughters, three dogs, and a cat on a ranch complete with horses, chickens, vineyard, orchards, and a 4,000 square foot organic garden.
Posted: 11/7/2013 6:39:44 PM
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