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How can a nutritional IV therapy RN know if he/she is practicing safely and in the best interest of patients?

Monday March 10, 2014
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Question:

Dear Nancy,

I have started working as a nutritional IV therapy RN as an independent contractor. The location is based in a compounding pharmacy, and physicians will order an IV, typically a Myersí cocktail or immune therapy, sometimes chelation. The patient then comes into the pharmacy where a room is set up for IVs. I will first get a consent from the patient, which states their physician has ordered an IV and, in short, it is not intended as a cure. I will obtain allergy and emergency information, then get vitals before, after and sometimes during the IV, which typically runs two hours.

I need to know if as long as there is an MD order for the IV and I obtain consent from the patient, am I practicing safely and in the best interest of patients?

Melissa



Dear Nancy replies:

Dear Melissa,

Your independent contractor business sounds interesting and it also sounds like you are seeing many clients already. Insofar as how you have set up your practice, including ensuring the safety and best interest of clients, you should consult with a nurse attorney or other attorney in your state who works with nurse entrepreneurs and knows your state's regulatory applications to your practice. The state nurse practice act and rules, and any statutes pertaining to IV therapy, would need to be included in the consultation.

You also might want the attorney you select to review the forms you have developed for your practice. The consent form, any informational brochures you provide to the patient, and other documents need to support the scope of your practice and your ability to provide this treatment for the client.

Regards,
Nancy




Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.