Cath lab, RN/tech mix

  1. HI all,
    Does anyone work in a Cath lab where there is a large mix of techs and RNs?? This is about to happen at ours. Supposedly it is cheaper to hire radiology techs, respiratory techs than RNs and the state regs state that you only need RNs to circulate and work the holding areas. Of course many cath lab RNs are upset and may have to look for other jobs in house or out of house.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    I haven't worked in a cath lab, but as a member of a heart team. We interacted quite often with the cath lab. Everyone of the hospitals had techs and RNs, so if you have had only RNS, you have been one of a few selected programs. Radiology techs have always been part of the team because of their x-ray experience. I haven't seen resp therapists used in the cath lab.
  4. by   lee1
    anyone else from the USA???? Preferably NJ????
  5. by   BJNurse
    I work in the Chicago area. It is common for the cath labs in this area to run with a mix of RN's, techs and RT's. It is not uncommon to be the only RN in a case especially during a call in. I have found that this doesn't cause too much trouble so long as the staff your with is well trained, in fact I think that I have learned more from the veteran CVTs and Rts than many of the nurses I have worked with. That having been said when my pateints crashing on the table having another nurse there is ideal. Often the techs are great at the technical stuff like prepping for intervention but aren't great at the assessment and tx of a pt going down the tubes. I have heard rumors of some labs running without any RN's but most nurse practice acts specify that a RN has to be the one giving the conscious sedation and that keeps us in the lab. It all boils down to cost and because of that high number RN labs are becoming a thing of the past. There is another forum called Cathlab.com that frequently has posts about this but I should warn you that it can be a little hostile towards RN's (my opinion) but it's a good place for cath lab info. Good luck with the changes and try to hang in there.
  6. by   cathlabrn
    Quote from lee1
    HI all,
    Does anyone work in a Cath lab where there is a large mix of techs and RNs?? This is about to happen at ours. Supposedly it is cheaper to hire radiology techs, respiratory techs than RNs and the state regs state that you only need RNs to circulate and work the holding areas. Of course many cath lab RNs are upset and may have to look for other jobs in house or out of house.
    I have worked as a cath lab rn for 6 years. We have only one rn cross trained and that was his choice. Our call teams consist of 1 rn and 2 techs. Our techs are awesome. With the exception of a couple, our techs are great in an emergency. If we need an extra set of nurse hands, the icu has always been there when we need them. I think working as nurse only makes it easier to be the patient advocate we need to be, and pay close attention to the patient's needs. We don't get involved with which wire might work better, what guide has a better fit, or stuff like that. Good Luck!
  7. by   NCgirl
    The CCL I used to work in had RN's, resp techs, rad techs, and surg techs. Couldn't really tell any difference between the techs as far as their backgrounds went. There wasn't really any problem between the nurses and techs, everyone just pitched in to get the job done. There were also a few nurses who scrubbed. Our call team was four people, 2 techs and 2 nurses.
  8. by   zambezi
    The cath lab at my hospital also has a mix of techs and rns (i think that rt is called only if necessary...). The RN scrubs in with the docs and the techs "circulate"...I don't work in cath lab but it seems to run pretty well when I have been down in there with the guys (I say guys, because there are only 2 women that work down there...)
  9. by   BT from NC
    Lee1

    I wouldn't worry too much about not having a position. During the past 6 months other RN positions have become scarce but Cath Lab positions remain strong. I recruit RNs for travel assignments and consitently have had over 10 openings for Cath Lab on a weekly basis. Historically this is one position (along with CVICU & case managers) that seems to ALWAYS be in short supply.

    I suspect the reason hospitals are looking to change the model is cost. Once they incur a lawsuit or two, they'll quickly reconsider.
  10. by   cpnegrad07
    Quote from BJNurse
    I work in the Chicago area. It is common for the cath labs in this area to run with a mix of RN's, techs and RT's. It is not uncommon to be the only RN in a case especially during a call in. I have found that this doesn't cause too much trouble so long as the staff your with is well trained, in fact I think that I have learned more from the veteran CVTs and Rts than many of the nurses I have worked with. That having been said when my pateints crashing on the table having another nurse there is ideal. Often the techs are great at the technical stuff like prepping for intervention but aren't great at the assessment and tx of a pt going down the tubes. I have heard rumors of some labs running without any RN's but most nurse practice acts specify that a RN has to be the one giving the conscious sedation and that keeps us in the lab. It all boils down to cost and because of that high number RN labs are becoming a thing of the past. There is another forum called Cathlab.com that frequently has posts about this but I should warn you that it can be a little hostile towards RN's (my opinion) but it's a good place for cath lab info. Good luck with the changes and try to hang in there.
    I went to Cathlab.com to check it. They have no privacy policy that i could find, and no hard info on who they are and their motivations. Can you help reassure me on these points, since you are a member of it. :wink2:
    Thanks
  11. by   cpnegrad07
    Quote from lee1
    HI all,
    Does anyone work in a Cath lab where there is a large mix of techs and RNs?? This is about to happen at ours. Supposedly it is cheaper to hire radiology techs, respiratory techs than RNs and the state regs state that you only need RNs to circulate and work the holding areas. Of course many cath lab RNs are upset and may have to look for other jobs in house or out of house.
    Yes, i work as the only RN in the room, unless one of the other 3 people is cross-trained. The other mandatory position is RT (radiology, not resp.) Our CVT may be RN, RT, or CVT only. The scrub is either an RN, LPN, or RT. It works well, but all depends on the individuals on the team! I feel like i'm humping it to finish up before we leave the room, and the others seem much more interested in getting the pt out of the room so they can take a break while i take the pt to the holding area and give report and finish my paperwork.

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