23.1 IV Therapy Management Introduction

Learning Objectives

  • Inspect established IV site for deviations from normal
  • Prepare and safely administer primary and secondary IV fluids and medication
  • Calculate and ensure designated flow rate
  • Change IV tubing
  • Change IV site dressing
  • Discontinue short-term peripheral IV
  • Modify the procedure to reflect variations across the life span
  • Document actions and observation
  • Report significant deviations from norms

The purpose of intravenous (IV) therapy is to replace fluids and electrolytes, provide medications, and replenish blood volume.

The nurse’s responsibilities in managing IV therapy include the following:

  • Assessing an IV site
  • Priming and hanging a primary IV bag
  • Preparing and hanging a secondary IV bag
  • Calculating IV rates
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of IV therapy
  • Discontinuing a peripheral IV

IV medications and fluids enter the patient’s bloodstream directly through the vein. They act rapidly within the body to restore fluid volume and deliver medications. Once a medication enters the vein, there is no way to terminate this action. Therefore, it is important to properly prepare the IV medication or fluid, correctly calculate the dosage, and administer it safely to the patient. Additionally, IV fluid administration is considered a medical intervention and requires a medication order prior to the initiation of fluid therapy.


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