ER to cath lab nursing?

  1. 0
    Hi all,
    I have been an ER nurse for 1.5 years, and love the excitement but have been thinking about other places to go with the experience. Any nurses out there who have made the switch and how much experience did you have? Do you miss the ER? Any anecdotal experiences about average day in the life of a cath lab nurse would be appreciated, I am looking at some positions right now and toying with applying. Thanks!
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hi, the most ER nurses that transfer to CCL miss the traumas and medical emergencies. Depending on your hospital, majority of the cases are scheduled. Although, you will get cases from CCU and ED that are STEMIs or need swans, balloon pumps or temporary pacers. Most labs do implant pacemakers, ICDs, EP studies and ablations if there is an Electrophysiologist on staff. Bottom line less emergent patients, but you get away from the daily abuse of the emergency dept.
    Good luck
  4. 0
    I moved to the CCL after working in a very busy ED for 8 years and have never looked back. I do miss the traumas, shock, the laughs, etc. However I love what I have picked up from a cardiac point of veiw. STEMIs and cardiogenic shock have caused a lot of codes that keep you on your toes and keep you thinking. I would recommend learning to scrub, circulate, and monitor. That makes you even more needed in the lab and increases your experience and resume. Our Cath Lab is right next to the ED so I still get to see everyone and check in every now and then and sometimes get to play if they are short staffed.
  5. 0
    I am also an ER nurse considering leaving for the cath lab. If fact I said the other day I would only leave the ER for cath lab and then a job was posted! I worry about getting board, but ER can be repetative also. Drunk in, fluid in, drunk out. Wondering about call and what the hous are for our guys here. Good luck to you, keep us posted!
  6. 1
    It is similar in the get them in/ get them out with routine diagnostic caths and interventions. (Have to keep the schedule flowing). What is new is learning all the catheters, the detailed anatomy, why a coated versus non coated stent is chosen... anticipating anything.

    Now my EP lab is seperate from the cath lab, but many cath labs do pacer inserts as well, learning to scrub is a cool new skill.

    Call is a bear though, our cath lab team takes 6-7 extra shifts of call a month, I am serious.

    The benefit is you only have one patient in your care at a time, you are sedating them and there is no family in the proceedure room. Priceless
    KimICURN likes this.
  7. 0
    Thanks for the feedback all. The position posted "with call"- does this mean additional shifts on top of 36 hrs/3 twelves a week? Are you "on call" in the facility? Is there one RN present per cath, or more than one? I am unfamiliar this aspect of nursing! I've always enjoyed the critical cardiac patients but we don't have a cath lab so we transfer them out ASAP.
  8. 0
    Our lab takes extra shifts and usually sleeps in the call room inbetween cases. It's not uncommon to have two or more emergents a night. Depends on your location though. Many labs are moving to one RN per room instead of two. If you have a crashing MI, drips, setting up the IABP... and still circulating it can be very busy. Many staff with an RN floater during the regular day schedule, if it turns into an intervention then the float RN goes to that room to help.
  9. 0
    While it's not ED to CCL, I moved from the ICU. I really like my job, and I'm glad I made the switch. We have a small Cath lab, 2 rooms and 9 staff members. We take a LOT of call because we cover the department 24/7. My May schedule has me listed for 17 days of call. That means we carry a pager, are responsible for responding to the CCL in 30 minutes, and are available to work any and all hours of the day. The call coverage is from 1600 until 0700, and 24-hr weekend coverage. The people I work with are great, and the cardiologists are some of the best physicians to work with. Go for it.
  10. 0
    Quote from Zookeeper3
    Call is a bear though, our cath lab team takes 6-7 extra shifts of call a month, I am serious.:
    6 shifts a month sounds heavenly!!
    Quote from 90orLess
    While it's not ED to CCL, I moved from the ICU. I really like my job, and I'm glad I made the switch. We have a small Cath lab, 2 rooms and 9 staff members. We take a LOT of call because we cover the department 24/7. My May schedule has me listed for 17 days of call. That means we carry a pager, are responsible for responding to the CCL in 30 minutes, and are available to work any and all hours of the day. The call coverage is from 1600 until 0700, and 24-hr weekend coverage. The people I work with are great, and the cardiologists are some of the best physicians to work with. Go for it.
    Yup. Sounds about right...


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top