Calling all cath lab RNs

  1. I have worked in E.R. for 15 yrs. Need a change bad! I've being courted by cath lab to come join them.
    I'm trying to research the good/ bad / and ugly of cath lab nursing. Of course the Call seems to be the huge issue.
    Some say I'll be too bored. But acute mi's keep it interesting, and I really don't want adrenaline all the time anymore- I'm 47 yrs old now--- want to lessen the stress level a little. My other option is ADON of ltc facility, Talk about change!
    Any opinions welcome!!
    Vicky RN
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   SEOBowhntr
    Vicky,
    Cath lab can be quite boring, but does seem to be a little lower stress, regular hours, less the call, but pretty rewarding when you consider you got called in to save someone's life, not just because the unit needed staff. Of the cath labs RN's at my hospital, all but 2 have been there for over 5 yrs, which would indicate to me that it must be a pretty rewarding job. Certainly not as dramatic as ER, but hey, you said low stress right??? Good Luck with whatever you do.
  4. by   dianah
    I think it all depends on your perspective. I've worked Radiology/Cath Lab X 25 yr now (four diff't facilities), and I never find it boring. The set-up is basically the same, yes. But each pt is different, and it's rewarding to me to help the pt get through this (for the pt) high-anxiety exam.

    It's an opportunity to work with the Cardiologists on a different level, and hopefully yours will enjoy teaching as much as ours do (IF you decide to work there, that is! ).

    Now, taking call at age 47, when you want lower stress, --- I'm not sure you'll accomplish lowering stress with this way . My suggestions are:

    1. Spend a day or two observing in the lab; ask questions, feel it out.

    2. REALLY explore the call issue: how often would you take call (depends on how many nurses are working there, I suppose), how often do they get called in or have to stay late to finish the cases . . . And, how is call/OT compensated. If, for example, you are able to choose between taking OT $$ and putting in for comp. time, you may feel the call is worth putting up with.

    Good luck with your decision (BTW, we need a cath lab nurse and don't take call ------------ yet. ).
  5. by   2real
    I have sat in to observe the daily workings of cath lab- on 2 occasions, 2 different hospitals. I have asked my hosp C.L.to add me to the call-in list on my days off so I can observe how an acute intervention goes. So before I make my decision, I'll know what I'm in for as far as stress level. I think the day in -day out stress level will be lower, but I'll take that boredom at this point over living on adrenaline. That was good fun when I was younger, but getting old... along with me! ha !
    Anyway I know i will crave some occasional excitiment now and then, so being called in for as acute will probably fill the bill. At least I always know what the emergency will be, and not be caught ny surprise by all the new and different ways pts can mangle themselves to near death.
    Thanks for your input, it helps me allot to hear from those" in the know"
  6. by   ann h
    Hi

    I have been a cath lab nurse in the UK for 8 years working in 3 labs.
    I have just been offered a job in Florida Hospital, Orlando and cant wait.
    I love the job and do not find it boring you may be in the Cath Lab one day recovery area the next or EPS (Pacing) the next. So lots and lots to learn.

    Yes some days can be a bit samey but you never know what hot cases are going to come in the door and test all your nursing and als skills.

    I work with a wonderful team there are 30 of us and will be sorry to leave them. Staff turn over is very low and that says a lot.

    Very best of luck!!!!!
  7. by   BJNurse
    I've been in the cath lab for 4 years now and I've never considered it boring or low stress, but to each his own. I personally love it and will stay in the cath lab setting as long as I can. Some things to consider are: wearing 10-15lbs of lead all day, call - being called in at 2am to do an acute then having to work all day, cath lab schedules are fluid ie: last case may go late and run to 8-9pm there isn't a next shift to relieve you and cardiac patients (even routine ones) can go bad quickly , when the #$%# hit's the fan its just your cath lab team and the cardiologist so you need to really know your stuff. Those are the cons in my opinion but to those of us who really love the cath lab it is a small price to pay. I thought that going from CVICU to cath lab I might be "bored" but I was wrong, in fact I had to work hard to bring my knowledge and practice up to the next level. Cath Lab nurses , at least where I have worked, are expected to practice at a very high level. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to make sure this is the job for you. I would just say if you are looking for a challenge and adventure then the cath lab would be a great move. If you are looking to relieve stress and lower adrenaline then maybe the ADON might be a better route. Good luck in whatever you choose.
  8. by   jobyjoz
    I have been working in cath lab for 9 years. I dont find it boring at all.
  9. by   ukus
    I will be working in a Rehab unit in Bergenfield, New Jersey. I'm not sure if I'm going to like it. I don't have a choice but to finish my 2 year employment contract to the facility or pay the necessary fees. I really wanted to work in Cath Lab Unit. But I don't have any cath lab work experience. Is there any hospital/facility on this area that I could do some training while working in a Rehab unit. Sort of like a part time basis, any idea. Your response is highly appreciated.
  10. by   CathMarkRN
    Quote from ukus
    I will be working in a Rehab unit in Bergenfield, New Jersey. I'm not sure if I'm going to like it. I don't have a choice but to finish my 2 year employment contract to the facility or pay the necessary fees. I really wanted to work in Cath Lab Unit. But I don't have any cath lab work experience. Is there any hospital/facility on this area that I could do some training while working in a Rehab unit. Sort of like a part time basis, any idea. Your response is highly appreciated.
    Learning to work in the Cath Lab as a per diem is difficult. You need the time and repetition to get it down. I started as a per diem and found I needed to go part time to finally get comfortable.
  11. by   cclnurse
    CCL's love having ED nurses. They are comfortable with arythmias and code situations too. Shadowing for a couple of days in the CCL is always a good idea for someone looking to tx there. I wouldn't say that it is less stressful though. It's a diffent kind of stress. Kinda like ED where some days are gravy and then other days it hits the ceiling. Good luck!!!
  12. by   TNnursejane
    I love working in the cath lab. I've been working there and radiology on and off for a couple of years now. I worked critical care for 23 yrs prior to that. I find it very rewarding and am learning so much. I work in a diagnostic cath lab so we don't do stents and angioplasty. I'm 45 and have found it to be much less stressful. Although call definitely would be more than what I'd want to do at this age. If you have to take call, it would probably be a lot unless it's just to stay late to recover patients. Find out what call is like before you take the job.

    Good luck!
    Janie
  13. by   cclnurse
    Does anyone work in the CCL at Central Baptist in Lexington,KY? I was looking at applying for a job there. BUT UK also looks interesting? Anyone have any words about how the staff work together and how is management like?
  14. by   nurseangel47
    I get the feel that you'd be happier in the cath lab rather than as adon in ltc facility. Just from what I've observed in nurses who've taken on adon before...it would be more political, less handson, sometimes less stressful, but families and/or residents who are troublemakers make your life pure heck with their constant barrage of demands, and heaven forbid, if their beloved family member falls out of bed or isn't immediately diagnosed properly and treatment isn't given...!

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