“The Hangover Cure” - IV Therapy Nursing
By Lee Nelson
IV Therapy is nothing new in the medical community. It has been used to treat all kinds of conditions. What is new is the celebrity attention it’s received for supposedly curing anything from hangovers to the flu. Some celebrities also swear by IV therapy for beauty, energy and immunity. Public interest in IV therapy has sparked new business opportunities for nurses and entrepreneurs alike.
Nurses are providing people with I.V. vitamin therapy at their home, office or hotel - some companies also have opened up centers for walk-in clients.
Companies have popped up around the country and continue to expand in the last few years while hiring registered nurses along with physicians and other medical professionals to fill the growing need for this service.
The I.V. Doc website reports that the oral intake of fluid and vitamins has an absorption rate of, at best, 50-60%. Intravenous hydration, however, doubles that amount and boasts a 100% absorption rate. Patient’s fluids and electrolytes are greatly replenished through IV therapy.
Meet IV Therapy Nurse @teal_renee
“I decided that I wanted a part-time gig, and one that was a little less intense than my current position,” says Teal Renee, a registered nurse. “My usual environment as a nurse is fast paced and dealing with critically ill patients. All day long, I’m nitrating vasoactive drips and using critical thinking skills to keep my patients alive.”
She works with Drip Doctors in Los Angeles. That company owns three regenerative centers plus a franchise headquarters, which oversees 100 location expansion interests per month around the world.
When did you become a nurse?
“I have been a nurse for just about 4 years now. I started out on a cardiac telemetry unit, then transitioned to ICU after one year,” Teal Renee says. “After getting two years of experience in the cardiac ICU, I decided to pursue travel nursing, thus ending up in the beautiful Los Angeles.”
Why did you begin working in the IV vitamin nursing field?
Renee began to Google “medical spas and esthetics” when she wanted something less intense than her day job and came across numerous job openings. She applied to a few, and now she works for Drip Doctors.
What is IV vitamin therapy nursing?
“As an IV vitamin therapy nurse, I infuse IV vitamins intravenously, similar to ‘banana bags.’ The goal of IV vitamin infusions are to restore, hydrate, and replenish the body,” she says.
What type of credentials, training, education and personality are required to be an IV nurse?
To be this type of nurse, you must be a registered nurse (associates or bachelors) and hold an active nursing license in your practicing state. The main skill set required for this job is being able to insert IV catheters, Teal Renee adds.
“You must be good at accessing a vein on the first attempt, as of course many people do not want to be stuck more than once with a needle. Usually, good IV skills come from nurses who have the most experience inserting IV catheters such as ER and ICU nurses,” she states.
A nurse who is sociable and soothing would be good personality traits for this job as you are interacting and socializing with clients all day.
What type of patients do you work with, and what are they looking for from you?
“I work generally with patients who overall healthy, as we do not provide urgent care needs,” she says.
Most patients come in feeling dehydrated, fatigued or having mild cold symptoms. Patients are usually searching for rehydration, or vitamins such as B12 to boost their energy, or Vitamin C infusions to help optimize their immune system.
This is also considered a preventative health service, so all costs are out of pocket unless your insurance covers this type of service. Drip Doctors’ website states that a hydroboost is $89 while a hangover drip is $150.
What does a typical shift look like for you?
A typical shift for Teal Renee is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“I come in first thing in the morning to check the stock and then check the schedule the appointment book. All day long as patients come in, I service them by providing IV catheters for infusions, monitoring their infusions, or giving booster shots of vitamins intramuscularly if they are looking for a quick injection of vitamins as the infusion drips usually take about 45 minutes to complete,” she says.
They service patients in reclining chairs and offer snacks and blankets for the most comfortable experience. Other companies offer service to their homes, etc.
Are your wages the same, more or less than if you worked in a hospital?
The wages are less than what the hospital pays. However, she says, clients do have the option to tip which helps to make up for the pay difference as most clients do leave tips.
How is your pay structured, and are your benefits the same as a hospital?
“I am paid on an hourly wage. At this time, I do not opt for benefits,” Teal Renee adds.
What are your best and worst days as an IV Vitamin Therapy Nurse?
“My best day as an IV vitamin therapy nurse is always when I nail those hard sticks, and people leave feeling much better than when they walked in,” she explains.
The worst days have been missing hard sticks and having to stick people more than once with a needle. Ouch, she says.
What are the pros/cons of working in this specialty?
The pros of working in this specialty are that you get to work in a relaxing environment and socialize with clients. It’s not as political as the hospital can be, and she always gets out of work on time, she says.
“The cons are that it doesn’t require in-depth skill sets such as monitoring hemodynamics and cardiac rhythms, which is why I chose to keep my full-time job at the hospital to keep up my skills as a nurse,” she adds.
Is this specialty of nursing more in demand in certain big cities?
I.V. infusion therapy is still a fairly new commodity but is on the rise in popularity, says Teal Renee.
“It has become a growing trend amongst celebrities and those looking for rehydration without having to go to the emergency room.”
You will find them mostly in major cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, or Vegas, as it is more in sync towards the hip culture of those cities and aligned with those seeking natural and preventive healthcare services. As this service becomes more known to the public, which is most certainly will, it will be seen through other cities as well, she says.
The I.V. Doc’s website says they are located in places such as Palm Spring, Fort Lauderdale, London, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, northern New Jersey along with L.A. and New York City.
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