Intravenous (IV) Drugs

To provide underpinning knowledge associated with best practice for the safe administration of intravenous drugs, including a simulated experience to assist in the development of competent drug calculation skills.

To raise awareness of the legal implications of the NMC and organisational policies regarding intravenous drug administration and promote the safety and well-being of all patients who require intravenous drug therapy.


By the end of the course, candidates will be able to:

  • Discuss legal and professional responsibilities associated with administering intravenous (IV) drugs in line with national guidance
  • Follow procedures for gaining consent and correct documentation
  • Describe relevant anatomy and physiology
  • List indications for giving IV drugs
  • Outline different IV access methods and associated equipment
  • Understand the need to manage associated risk
  • Describe the principles for safely preparing and administrating IV medicines including drug calculation practice
  • List pharmaceutical aspects involved with IV drug administration
  • Explain correct procedures for minimising infection
  • Identify potential problems, describing how to prevent them and what necessary interventions are required should they occur


Learners will be assessed by –

  • Ability to answer questions during course
  • Discussion following feedback from activities
  • Undertaking a simulated drug calculations task
  • Completing a post course knowledge assessment


Course content

  • Legal and professional considerations and responsibilities
  • Consent for care and treatment
  • Importance of policies and procedures
  • What is IV therapy?
  • Indications for IV drug administration
  • Risks of IV drug administration
  • Related anatomy and physiology
  • Vascular access device options
  • Peripheral venous access device (PVAD)
  • Central venous catheter device (CVC)
  • Principles of safe administration of medicines
  • Errors and their prevention
  • Principles of calculating
  • Practice at calculating required drugs
  • Pharmaceutical aspects of IV drug administration
  • Types of preparation
  • Precipitation
  • Half life
  • Binding to plastic
  • Displacement value
  • Layering
  • Drug incompatibilities
  • Administration
  • Continuous infusion
  • Intermittent infusion
  • Bolus
  • Flushes
  • Cannula checks
  • ANTT
  • Speed of infusion
  • Potential complications
  • Phlebitis
  • Infiltration
  • Extravasation
  • Thrombosis
  • Anaphylaxis


Medex Group Limited
Botanical Gardens Business Centre,
3 Southbourne Road,
S10 2QN

t: 0114 266 5264
e: info@medexgroup.co.uk



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