Cath Lab nurses!! Intro plz! - page 3

by Marchantia 10,120 Views | 27 Comments

i am lately seeing so many threads related to the cath lab , which got me wondering that how many nurses out there work in the cathlab. the purpose of starting this thread is to introduce ourselves to each other and share our... Read More


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    I have been a nurse for over 27 years. My last 7 have been in an EP lab. I just transferred to another hospital and am primarily for EP but am also helping in Cath lab holding. I am hoping to learn how to circulate and chart for caths.
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    It is so nice to find a CCL thread as I totally love working in my lab. especially the opportunity to give 100% of my attention and care to just one patient. Sure I will admit I love to have my skills challenged when a patient starts to circle the drain. It still amazes me how we all pull together and even with just the on-call team of three staff we stabilize the patient and except for anesthesia, we have yet to call for extra help with a "code blue" We have a designated pre & post holding unit and a separate self contained EP lab. The patient is transfer from holding unit directly to the table by one of our specially trained CNA transporters. We do 20+ cases a day ... everything from diagnostic, angioplasty, IABP, temp. pacers, pressure wire, IVUS, etc., etc. Staff is expected to do the triple threat of circulating, scrubbing and recording. We are lucky to have an amazing state of the art system that records the case, prints, and collects all the ACC data. Call is from 6p to 6a but staff tries to say if we are drowning in cases at the end of the day. It sure helps to keep more than one lab running with 5 add on cases backed up. Last week was my worst call ever! I took on two extra call nights due to a sick call and was up all night and then worked the next day for those two days and then did the same for my own scheduled night ... naturally it was also my weekend on-call. I still love this position more than I can say and they will have to kick me out the front door dragging my walker behind to get me to leave. Glad to meet you all!
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    Ok, I am starting to freak out here... I just got hired into an outpatient cath lab , no call, no weekends, awesome right? The problem is I have NEVER worked in a cath lab or ICU in my life! Now I have worked tele and am an extremely fast learner with an excellent talent for picking things up VERY quickly, BUT I still am afraid I am in over my head...advice PLEASE...What should I be studying most? Waveforms, drugs? I start next week! Any help to get me throught the first day without looking like a complete idiot!! Thanks
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    Best advice? Just hang in there until you are comfortable. You work tele so I am sure you are all set with recognizing what a dangerous EKG tracing is and I assume an S-T elevation. Review you basic heart anatomy so you know all of the coronary arteries. Most tasks are learned through repetition such as scrubbing and setting up the table and recording the case. Conscious sedation is usually administer by the circulating RN so that a good area to review. The cardiologists usually want what they want NOW so learn the equipment and where it is kept. An easy way to do that is to always assist with stocking the room you are working in and or help put away the equipment deliveries in your main supply room. Most of all, remember that everyone on the staff started off just like you and had to learn everything from scratch so they may be talented but they're not super heros .... although some may think they are In a diagnostic lab it takes a good six months to feel confident and in a interventional lab it takes about a year. If you have any other questions just e-mail me I would love to help. Best of luck!
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    Just started in the cath lab a few months ago and I love it. We pretty much do all things and our labs are growing. We do rotate to other areas like non-invasive cardio.
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    I work closely with the cath lab collecting and submitting ACC data, managing the lab's documentation and database computer systems, & reviewing charges among other things. I do have an RN license, but my work doesn't involve any direct patient care. I hope to learn what other labs are doing since the cath lab is a unique dept that others in the facility don't understand and can't offer help with (such as with component coding).

    Our lab covers cardiac, peripheral and neuro angios/interventions as well as special procedures, pacers & EP studies as needed. I'm amazed at how much the lab staff need to be familiar with and are constantly learning (new equipment, techniques) especially since they are now all cross-training for every type of case. I'm also amazed at how many other tasks fall the the clinical staff... CPT coding (to charge correctly), inventory maintenance (ordering, receiving, stocking supplies), QI data collection, and more.
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    I just switched from a neuro unit to the CCL. I am now learning how to circulate. I am totally overwhelmed right now but I love it!
    harley007 likes this.
  8. 0
    Hi!

    I'm new to this site but can already tell I'm gonna like it here!

    I start orientation tomorrow in a cath lab. I'm very excited as well as very nervous. I have been an LPN for 13 yrs. Started my nursing career on a surgical floor then went to LTC. I have loved/hated aspects of both but felt I was ready for a change. I almost feel like I did my first day of real-world nursing. LOL (you know, that first day of your first job after nursing school when you feel like you didn't learn anything in school )


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