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RN in a Cardiac Cath Lab works under the supervision of the physician and is responsible for the coordination, assessment and planning for patient care management during a cardiac catheterization, vascular or EP procedure, or the performance of invasive vascular and cardiac interventional and diagnostic procedures. This includes proper operation of the equipment within the department as well as the image processing.
Cardiac catheterization involves the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart. It is used as a diagnostic tool to detect and sometimes correct heart conditions. Cardiac Cath Lab Nurses assist physicians during catheterization procedures, pacemaker implantation, angioplasties and other cardiac procedures. The RN will closely monitor the patient’s vitals during the procedures. In many of these types of procedures the patient remains awake and this requires the Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse to help keep them calm and reassured. RN may also administer medication according to the physician’s instructions before, during and after the procedure. Cardiac Cath Lab RN can perform emergency procedures associated with catheterization procedure including temporary pacemaker insertion and IAB. RN can follow established standards and practices under the direction of a credentialed invasive cardiologist or invasive radiologist.
Things you’ll do:
Assist with angioplasties, stent placements and valvuloplasties
Assist with implanting of pacemakers and cardioverter-defibillators (ICDs)
RN Registered Nurses who work in Cardiac Cath Labs assist physicians with assessment of the patient, prep for procedures which can include taking the patient’s vital signs, heart rhythm, oxygen levels and starting an IV before the physician examination. RN will make sure the patient’s chart and records are updated. The RN can help ease the patient’s fears and answer any questions they may have. Registered Nurse may also obtain patient consents.
The Cardiac Cath Lab RN may also attend to patient’s needs during the recovery process after the procedure by monitoring vital signs, administering medications and updating records. The RN watches for signs of infection or side effects during the recovery phase. The RN must be prepared to administer treatments in case of excessive bleeding, fever or any other side effects from the procedure.
The Registered Nurse in the Cardiac Cath Lab may also provide education and instructions before discharge to the patients and families, which can include medication information, nutrition and care of surgical site.