Donna Lussier, BSN, RN

When she isn’t moderating the NICA Infusion Confusion Forum, Donna Lussier, BSN, RN, is busy providing infusion therapy to patients across the state of New Hampshire.

What do you do for a living and where do you work?

I currently work as an infusion nurse for four different companies in four different capacities:

Orthopedics Northeast, rheumatology clinic: As the only nurse, I manage their infusion suite in 2 different states, MA and NH. Our main source of infusions are biologics and steroidal infusions. I work part-time 3 days a week for this company and infuse approximately 25-30 patients in 3 days.

ExpressMed Urgent Care centers in MA and NH: ExpressMed sought me out to help erect 2 infusion centers in 2 of their locations. Our main source of infusion is biologics.

Brightstar Home Infusions: I travel to various homes inserting IVs and/or accessing current IV types for infusions. Our main source of infusions is IVIGs, antibiotics, and biologics.

OptInfusion: This a company that helps physician offices and urgent care centers develop infusion centers. We administer biologics and IVIG with the potential for more types of infusions.

How long have you been an infusion nurse?

For as long as I have been a nurse! I developed my skills in IV therapy while working in critical care for 17 years at a hospital. Lowell General Hospital did not have IV teams. As soon as I started inserting IVs and working with infusions, I knew I wanted to do more. It became a passion. Upon leaving the hospital I went to work for a pharmacy that focussed on IV therapy in the homes. Afterward, I extended my experience into Midline and PICC line insertions traveling to nursing homes and rehabs inserting specialty lines. Additionally, I taught short and day-long classes on IV care, PIV insertions, and PICC line maintenance to nurses in various facilities. I am currently working for all these companies assisting them by utilizing my skills and experience to help build their infusion industry.

What do you like the most about being an infusion nurse?

The skill of inserting IVs, whether they be short or long lines. The idea of “snatching” a vein for the good of the patient is an awesome feeling of goodness. The procedure of reconstituting medications of various solutions involving many different types of pumps and tubingsoffers interest and variability. And then, watching the patients leave content with their infusion is rewarding, leaving me with the feeling of a job well done.

What is your most memorable moment of being a nurse?

The day I received my certificate in PICC line insertions and my first patient that I inserted a PICC in to. I reached a very important goal, the height of IV therapy and line insertions. The first patient I inserted a PICC into was nerve-jarring. Gathering the courage within myself I embraced my goal and pursued at inserting that first PICC successfully. It’s like playing the piano, it’s a non-stop skill that is enjoyable – practicing over and over to get the song right.

What inspires or drives you every day? 

The patients. I love my jobs. Patients come back every time because they NEED their medication in order to feel good. In the past patients have had bad experiences with their previous infusions, from difficult needle insertions to delayed treatments. This causes an unnecessary fear in the patient and it is this fear that I work hard to relieve. I have to put myself in their shoes and know how I would like to be treated. By doing so, I am able to offer the patient an experience that will bring them back willingly and comfortably. This is my reward and reason to work.

What is your favorite quote?

“Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.” -Unknown

How do you “unwind” in your free time?

A number of ways depending on the conditions at hand. Working with my plants. I am a Master Gardener in NH. I love studying plants, learning about their characteristics so that I can know their needs. Other ways to unwind is playing the piano, I also love playing Words with Friends. It keeps my mind active. For my health, I love to dance aerobically to choreographed routines and I do this faithfully twice a week!! The best of all for me to unwind is kayaking. If I could kayak every day I would. To be out on a lake, pond, bay or harbor and sometimes an ocean turns the mind away from the stress of life and brings on a calming effect that only nature can offer.

NICA Supporter Spotlight

Do you know of a hard-working nurse, physician, practice manager, or other industry leaders who works tirelessly for infusion centers and their patients? Let us know! Email Amy Rios, marketing and communications coordinator, at amy.rios@infusioncenter.org.

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