Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Managing Intravenous Medications in the Non-hospital Setting An Ethnographic Investigation

Gardner, Glenn RN, PhD, FRCNA; Gardner, Anne RN, MPH, MRCNA; Morley, Greg RN, MN; Watson, Ashley R. D. MBBS, MPH, FRACP


Little published information exists about the issues involved in conducting complex intravenous medication therapy in patients' homes. An ethnographic study of a local hospital-in-the-home program in the Australian Capital Territory explored this phenomenon to identify those factors that had an impact on the use of medicine in the home environment. This article focuses on one of the three themes identified in the study—Clinical Practice. Within this theme, topics related to the organization and management of intravenous medications, geography and diversity of patient caseload, and communication in the practice setting are discussed. These findings have important implications for policy development and establishment of a research agenda for hospital-in-the-home services.

Glenn Gardner is Professor of Acute Care Nursing and Director of the Research Centre for Nursing Practice at The Canberra Hospital and University of Canberra, Australia. Her research interests include acute care nursing and infection control. She is also Editor of Collegian, the scholarly journal of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia.

Anne Gardner is Assistant Director of Nursing-Research at The Canberra Hospital and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Canberra, and is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University.

Greg Morley is Clinical Analyst in the Clinical Health Improvement Program at The Canberra Hospital.

D. Ashley R. Watson is a Senior Specialist in Infectious Diseases at The Canberra Hospital and is Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the Australian National University.

Address correspondence to: Anne Gardner, Research Centre for Nursing Practice, The Canberra Hospital, PO Box 11, Woden ACT 2606, Australia (e-mail:

© Copyright 2003 by the Infusion Nurses Society