Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nursing
A cardiac catheterization lab nurse is commonly referred to as a cath lab nurse. These nurses are registered nurses who work in the specialization of heart disease and diagnosis for their nursing career.
They are responsible for administering interventional procedures to patients, some of which include valvuloplasties, angioplasties and cardiac catheterizations. The men and women in this field assist doctors when they implant pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators. It is essential for nurses in this nursing occupation to stay up to date and current with the technology as it is always changing and advancing.
What Are The Duties For A Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse?
The main duties a cath lab nurse can expect to be responsible for include the execution of needs assessments; the education of other colleagues and health professionals on cardiac catheterization; participating and conducting research projects that are cardiac specific; following the physicians instructions to medicate patients; administer intravenous therapy (IV); the operation of treatment equipment; monitoring the vital signs of patients; the organization of patient’s medical procedures; the acquisition and maintenance of patient records and keeping their charts up to date; and providing overall care to patients in cardiac care units (CCU), intensive care units (ICU) or the cardiac catheterization lab (CCL) until it is time for them to be discharged.
What Should I Expect Working As A Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse?
Cardiac catheterization lab nurse jobs are primarily in hospital and clinical settings. Depending on the clinic or hospital they work in, they are based in the ICU, CCU or CCL. These nurses work with patients who have heart disease as well as other types of health conditions that impact the heart. They work alongside physicians when procedures are performed that include the cardiologist inserting a catheter into the blood vessel of the patient. Once the catheter is inserted into the vessel, the cardiologist then guides it through heart chambers or coronaries in order to determine the status of blood flow to the heart. This specific procedure can help uncover heart conditions that are potentially life threatening. Additionally cath lab nurses provide assistance with coronary angioplasties, which are performed to open up heart passages that are clogged.
What are the Educational Requirements For Becoming A Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse?
In order to become a cardiac catheterization lab nurse, you must first earn a degree by completing one of the available nursing programs. This is typically preferred at the associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree level and there are online nursing programs available. After completing your nursing education this is then followed by becoming a registered nurse. In order to become a registered nurse you must pass the examination after completing the required education. Employers in this profession usually prefer that a student completes at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing before obtaining the certification as a registered nurse. Additionally, you will find that many employers require that you become certified through the American Heart Association in CPR since you will be working with heart patients. This simply prepares you to resuscitate patients whenever necessary. Before being able to enter into the cardiac catheterization lab as a nurse, you must also have between one and two years of experience in the CCU, ICU or emergency room (ER).
What Is The Average Salary For A Cardiac Catheterization Lab Nurse?
The average salary that a cardiac catheterization lab nurse earns depending directly on the geographic location, education level, experience level, and employer. Some sources report that salaries range from $41,000 to $63,500 on an annual basis. These types of nurses also have an advantage over those in the emergency room and intensive care unit. This is because the cath lab nurse can quickly identify, or anticipate, the condition of a patient since most patients suffering from a critical condition are also suffering from a heart-related issue.
- Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association: This links to an association that is dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. On this site, you will find information that includes clinical tools, journals, education, national initiatives and an option to join as a member.
- American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation: This website provides you with information that ranges from certification and educational resources to upcoming events, publications and health and public policy.
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: This site provides you with information on clinical practicing, certification and educational resources within the critical care subfield of nursing. This is especially relevant to cardiac catheterization lab nurses due to the fact that the patients in this field are almost always considered critical care patients.
- American College of Cardiovascular Nurses: This links to the Marriott Heart Foundation. This foundation is the home of the Society of Cardiac Monitoring and the American College of Cardiovascular Nurses. On this site, you will find a wide range of educational information that is geared towards the cardiac specialization in nursing. This is especially beneficial to nurses who work in the cardiac catheterization lab.
- CathLab Digest: This links to the official home page for CathLab Digest, which is an online publication that is dedicated towards providing information for cath lab specialists.
- Registered Nurses: This links to the official entry for the Occupational Outlook Handbook as set forth by the United States Department of Labor through the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This set provides you with a wealth of information on the registered nursing career. This information ranges from a general overview of nurses to a more in-depth look into the specializations, educational requirements and reported wage information.
- American Nurses Association: This links to the official site for the American Nurses Association. This association is the largest organization in the United States for nurses. On this site you will find a range of information such as career and credentialing, occupational and environment information, government affairs, health care policy and nursing ethics.
- Cardiovascular Advanced Practice Nursing: This is an informative link to one of the many available nursing programs at the master’s degree level. This link provides you with information on the program as a whole and the curriculum you are expected to complete.
- Cardiac: This link provides you with a list of courses to expect when enrolling in the cardiac specialty of nursing. The courses included in this list are offered at Hawkeye Community College.
- Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist: This links to a program at the associate’s degree level that is offered at Sentara College of Health Sciences. This page provides you with information on the program, what to expect and the career overview.