Can You Start An IV on the Patient in Room C?


Please enjoy this guest post by Sharon Weinstein, one of our 2014 RNFM Radio guests!

I began my infusion nursing career in the emergency department at University Hospital, Tamarac, FL. I was working with an arrogant (imagine that) physician when a patient entered our facility with chest pain. He asked me to start an IV, and I had never done an infusion. I had come from an academic environment in which nurses monitored the lines that were placed by members of the medical staff.

Dr. J told me, “Any fool can do it…just read the label.” Well, I read the label and the policy/procedure, and I did it. As a matter of fact, I did it with such ease that I decided that I had indeed identified my niche within nursing. But, if I was to be an infusion nurse, I needed to know more. So I found a book entitled Plumer’s Principles and Practice of Intravenous Therapy, and I purchased that book and carefully read it from beginning to end.

I was lucky to have a mentor in my educational pursuit; he was a PharmD who aligned me with an anesthesia group for specialized training. The rest is history. Four years later, I was the president-elect of our professional society and the author of the ongoing chapters of Plumer. So who was “Plumer”? The name Ada Plumer is synonymous with infusion therapy. A leader, pace-setter, and co-founder of the professional society, Plumer set the tone for our professional practice, served as a mentor to many nurses, and encouraged excellence in the delivery of intravenous nursing care.

Ms. Plumer wrote, “In spite of the increasing use and importance of parenteral therapy, little training is required of the average therapist to carry it out. It is considered sufficient by some that the therapist be able to perform a venipuncture. This does not contribute to the optimal care of the patient whose prognosis depends upon intravenous therapy. The purpose of this book is to present a source of practical information essential to safe and successful therapy.”

Ada Plumer was a visionary; little could she know that the knowledge base would expand to such a critical level, and that infusion nurses would advance from novice to expert, continuing to educate nurses through publication of their findings, their practices, and their research.

From my first entry into this rapidly changing field to today, I have used Plumer’s book as a reference, a guide, and a bible for professional practice. Plumer’s retains its position today as the only complete source of information available to the practicing clinician, student, and educator. The growth of our practice is likewise a result of her initial efforts; we remember her with great respect. She set the standard and raised the bar! The rest is indeed history…


Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN, CRNI, FACW, FAAN is passionate about living longer and living well. Sharon’s name is synonymous with work/life balance. As a thought leader, she used her nursing platform to educate others, enrich their lives, and empower them to achieve balance in their own lives. She is a prolific speaker and trainer! She is the author of “B is for Balance, 12 steps to achieving balance at home and at work“. Work/life balance is what she does – every day! You can find Sharon by clicking here or calling 847 274 2946.