1. Alexander, Mary CRNI INS Chief Executive Officer Editor

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Safety has been a priority from the earliest days of the Intravenous Nurses Society. The longstanding INS commitment to safe intravenous care is not limited to patient safety; IV nurse specialists and other healthcare workers must demand safe products and practice environments for themselves, as well.


Like most healthcare workers and patients, IV nurse specialists and their patients are routinely exposed to the threats of latex allergy and a variety of bacterial, viral, and nosocomial infections. However, IV nurse specialists and their patients are particularly vulnerable to the risks inherent in healthcare. Intravenous therapy patients face a unique set of risks, ranging from minor cases of phlebitis to life-threatening complications. Incomplete patient assessment, unfamiliarity with equipment, and preparation lacking in certain patient care areas can contribute to patients' risk associated with IV therapy. Likewise, the nature of our profession means that we face a greater possibility of needlestick injury than do healthcare professionals in other specialties. When regular use of vascular access equipment and needles is part of the IV nurse specialist's very job description, the risk factor multiplies.


The Intravenous Nurses Society strives to acknowledge and manage the risks inherent in the IV specialty through INS Position Papers, Journal articles, Newsline alerts, and formal continuing education programs. Research conducted by INS members and other healthcare professionals encourages colleagues to demonstrate safety in their clinical practice and investigates safer ways to do the work of our specialty. Involvement in healthcare legislation increases awareness of our specialty and contributes our perspective to ongoing discussions about the future of patient care.


Collaboration with colleagues, allied professional organizations, and other healthcare disciplines will help us to gather valuable information for future editions of the Intravenous Nursing Standards of Practice, other guidelines for IV therapy, and nursing in general. In your practice setting, ongoing assessment of new products and procedures will determine costs, benefits, and risks to our patients and ourselves. We can work together to increase safety and decrease risks by stepping up our attention to the risks involved in our specialty.



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