Cath Lab Nurse vs. Telemetry and CCU Nurse?

  1. 0
    Hello!!
    I will begin precepting in about two weeks and I am currently scheduled to complete my hours in the Cardiac Cath Lab...I was wondering if anyone knows what a Cath lab nurse does compared to a telemetry or CCU nurse? I want to be a cardiac nurse and would like to know whether I should consider doing telemetry first and then Cath lab...PLEASE enlighten me!!!

    thanks :uhoh21:
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  5. 3
    All three of these specialties interact with each other but offer the patient different things. The cath lab RN at my hospital works in the cath lab, they do not recover the patient that is done by the CCU Rn or Tele Rn depending whether the patient has art lines in or whether the patient is stable or not. The Cath lab RN assists the MD and takes care of patient in the cath lab. They do not give routine oral meds or other things that the other two types of nurses will. She does not do bedside nursing, it is procedural nurses. But we all work to get the patient back on their feet. The CCU RN will have the very critical patients. The tele nurse usually has the cardiac patient til discharge he/she will be responsible for all meds/ activity/assessment/teaching before discharge. As a ccu rn or tele RN you may have the patient for several days or weeks, but the cath lab RN just for the procedure.

    Most of the RNs in our cath lab either worked tele or critical care(ccu) first.
    lkwashington, nyforlove, and neeniebean like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from batmik
    All three of these specialties interact with each other but offer the patient different things. The cath lab RN at my hospital works in the cath lab, they do not recover the patient that is done by the CCU Rn or Tele Rn depending whether the patient has art lines in or whether the patient is stable or not. The Cath lab RN assists the MD and takes care of patient in the cath lab. They do not give routine oral meds or other things that the other two types of nurses will. She does not do bedside nursing, it is procedural nurses. But we all work to get the patient back on their feet. The CCU RN will have the very critical patients. The tele nurse usually has the cardiac patient til discharge he/she will be responsible for all meds/ activity/assessment/teaching before discharge. As a ccu rn or tele RN you may have the patient for several days or weeks, but the cath lab RN just for the procedure.

    Most of the RNs in our cath lab either worked tele or critical care(ccu) first.
    Thank you batmik!! That certainly helps me to focus on where I think I should start. I think if I start with either tele or CCU I'll have the foundation...the basics of cardiac nursing. I wouldn't want to jump right in to a specialty such as cath lab without all the basic knowledge and experience in tele or CCU.

  7. 0
    Quote from bethiegirl
    Hello!!
    I will begin precepting in about two weeks and I am currently scheduled to complete my hours in the Cardiac Cath Lab...I was wondering if anyone knows what a Cath lab nurse does compared to a telemetry or CCU nurse? I want to be a cardiac nurse and would like to know whether I should consider doing telemetry first and then Cath lab...PLEASE enlighten me!!!

    thanks :uhoh21:
    Hey Bethiegirl!

    I am a former cathlab nurse. I went directly to cathlab from telemetry, and I found cathlab to be very hard. This is because I didn't know the waveforms, or how some of the cardiac drugs worked. The other cathlab nurses were all experienced CCU or ICU nurses, and were pretty intolerant of a person with less background than they had. They made it a bit more difficult for me than I think it should have been, but I loved the job - it was exciting and I learned something new every day!

    I stopped cathlab nursing three years ago due to my husband's job transfer and a pregnancy, and am now working in CVRU, which recovers cathlab patients. Right now, I work alongside ICU nurses (who are very smart and accepting) until the new CVRU unit is up and running. I am not back in cathlab because I have a toddler that I'm not ready to put in daycare yet. Cathlab requires weekday hours, and for you to take call on nights and weekends.

    My advice? Tele is a good start, but I really wouldn't try cathlab unless you have CCU or ICU experience. I don't think many cathlabs hire people without that kind of experience anyway.

    Good luck!
  8. 1
    These are all very different areas as mentioned, with a background in emergencies/cardiac/rhythms/waves essential.

    A new grad who goes directly to CCL without considerable basic tele/stepdown and some ICU/waveform experience is setting herself up for failure IMO. One will be overwhelmed with the instabilities that can occur, no doubt.
    lkwashington likes this.
  9. 0
    I am like you but i did have telemetry experience and step down recently i made the move to become a CCU RN and i hate the job because you are doing totally everything for the patient without any help. I dont feel overwhelm but it does get tire some at times. i was just hired for a Cath Lab position which is no holiday and no nights excpt for call and a little more pay versus the CCU which is only nights. SO i am still debating on what do to and how to jump out of a situation i really did not want.
  10. 0
    Hi. I used to work in a very busy interventional Cath Lab and I loved it!! I had ER experience prior to this. It's very different and you will learn so much. Depending on where you work may differ in job descripions. Most hospitals near me have the nurses staff the holding area taking care of pre and post cath patients unless the patient on the table being cathed may need an intervention (Angioplasty/Stent placement). Diagnostic cases are run by techs. The hospital I worked in, however, had a nurse in the room with every patient. The job consisted of prepping the patient (sterile OR fashion), giving the patient conscious sedation throughout the procedure, monitoring waveforms, etc. I loved it, but I really didn't like my boss. I worked there for almost 3 years, but ultimately ended up back in a busy ER. I still look occasionally for a per diem position in a Cath Lab or EP Lab. Good Luck!!
  11. 0
    Thank you this has helped me out a lot i believe i now know in what direction i will be heading you have added the cherry to the topping. Thanks
  12. 1
    It the lab I work in we prep, circulate and do the initial recovery. The patient develop-es a relationship and trust with you and this seems to work well.

    I wouldn't recommend a new nurse to start in a CCL because of the many technical info you need to learn. You need to be ACLS certified and know how to use it. You have to be on your toes at times and think ahead. During angioplasty things get hectic and you need to work fast as well as be accurate in what you are doing.

    If you were to spend 6 months to a year on a nursing floor doing cardiac then the transition to the lab should go well...

    Good luck!
    lkwashington likes this.
  13. 0
    Hi, Just wondering if anyone can enlighten me... I am a UK nurse hoping to relocate to the US asap. I have been a qualified RN for 6 years with the past 2.5 years working in a busy cardiac cath lab. Do cath lab nurses get paid more Or less than say a med/surg nurse?Or how does their pay compare to a ccu nurse? Its just that I have the opportunity of working in CCU until I relocate and I dont know what to do. I have a family so when i move to the states, I want to earn as much money as i can. Can anyone advise me please? thanks!


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