How to Become Nurse: Cardiac Cath Lab Specialty

how to become a nurseHospital cardiac cath labs are in charge of implanting pacemakers, performing angioplasties and diagnosing cardiac conditions in patients. Registered nurses can work in these laboratories as they as they have the correct education and experiences. These nurses help physicians in the cardiac cath lab.


How to Become a Nurse: Cardiac Cath Specialty

Want to learn how to become a nurse with a specialty in cardiac catheterization? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Obtain your associate of science in nursing or bachelor of science in nursing
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Beginning working as a registered nurse

Once you have your initial training:

  • After you work as a nurse, you can quality for the RN-BC, or Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification. This certification is provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • Participate in a cardiac catheterization lab training program. This may be provided by your hospital. Program length will vary, but most are about six months in length.

After passing this program, you can officially work as a cardiac cath lab nurse.

What You’ll do as a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse

  • Prepare and Assess Patients- When you’re working in the lab as a registered nurse, you’ll be responsible for preparing your patients for angioplasty, catheterization, cardiac procedures and pacemaker implantations. This often involves measuring their oxygen levels, taking their vital signs and measuring their pulse prior to their assessment by the physician. You may also need to place an IV and obtain the paperwork necessary for patient consent of each procedure.
  • Helping Patients- During certain procedures, you’ll be responsible for assisting doctors. This can involve monitoring the patient’s vital signs. If the patient is awake during the procedure, you may also need to keep them calm throughout it. Administering medication may also be required of you throughout the procedure. The doctor will instruct you on what to give the patient and how much of that medication to administer.
  • After Care- Once the cardiac procedure is done, you’ll be responsible for monitoring your patients while they recovery. You’ll need to check their vital signs often, provide them with medications in pill form or through an IV and update their chart as needed. Infections can occur after any type of medical treatment, and it will be your responsibility to look for signs of infection. If the patient experiences a side effect from the procedure, develops a fever or has excessive bleeding, you’ll need to be prepared to treat the patient.
  • Education- In addition to treating your patients and assisting the doctor during procedures, you’ll also need to instruct and educate both the patient and their loved ones on what to do and expect when they get home after the procedure. This can include providing information about the medications they will need to take, changes to their diet and surgical site care.

Have you been through CNA training or started your nursing education? If you want more you’re your career, consider a specialty that suits you. Advance your career and learn how to become a nurse with a specialty in cardiac catheterization.

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