Hi! I work with LVAD's and transplant patients a lot on my current floor, and want to stick with this specialty as I move through my career. I'd like some good resources about where there are great LVAD programs, or which hospitals across the country have them. I'd like to move somewhere new, but want to find hospitals where I can use this skill set.
Right now I'm a staff nurse on CVT Stepdown, but have been thinking about applying for some LVAD Coordinator or heart transplant coordinator positions.
Anyone have a nice list of VAD programs, where they are? Is there a ranking system or way to know where the best programs are?
May 30, '13
Oy... VAD coordinator from step-down? All of ours have at least a decade of CVICU experience on units utilizing VADs. I can't speak for the rest of the nation or for anyone else's experience (including yours) but that thought kind of terrifies me. Granted the majority of a coordinator's work with the pts is done when they are stable but they play a pivotal role in getting the pt to that point and keeping them there. They are there in the OR when they are placed, and on call for unstable patients. They also work with patients in the clinic and follow up and remain on call for patients to call from home. No doubt they all had their learning curve when moving into the coordinator position but they also had been a part of nearly every worst scenario possible from working in the ICU first. As soon as ANYTHING starts looking amiss on our step-down unit, the pt's come right back to us in the ICU for evaluation. It's very rare that those nurses have to trouble-shoot much with the VADs; definitely not enough to prepare them for a career as a coordinator. Just my two cents...
Jun 1, '13
Look towards your academic centers and coordinators are usually required to have CVICU experience AND a MSN.
Jun 6, '13
Quote from musician's wife
As soon as ANYTHING starts looking amiss on our step-down unit, the pt's come right back to us in the ICU for evaluation. It's very rare that those nurses have to trouble-shoot much with the VADs; definitely not enough to prepare them for a career as a coordinator. Just my two cents...
I was super into your post up until this line. I worked stepdown at a leading VAD hospital and a few nurses on the floor had expert VAD knowledge. One of them went on to become a coordinator having never set foot into an ICU. Moreover, we were not shooting patients back to ICU for hiccups/evaluation.
I don't know how to make my post sound less PMS-y so I'll end it with a
Jun 7, '13
I see your point however every facility is different....I think the thing that surprised me the most when I moved form the Midwest to the northeast was that in the Northeast in this day and age in medicine I still had to fly of ground transport an Acute MI to a hospital that did angios and interventions...when at the community hospital (and I mean community hospital for we were next to a corn field) I was working at had been doing invasive interventions since the early 1980's....believe it or not I saw my first VAD there. They were not the VAD we talk about today this was an open heart that did not go well...however a VAD it was....no residents, no hospitalists, and the surgeons went home at night.
So my experience at this kind of facility is vastly different than someone elses...these stepdown nurses were vastly different from other stepdown nurses. The policies and procedures
I think it is important to remember that while there are some consistencies in medicine there are more inconsistencies that exist.........that vary widely from place to place in one 50 mile radius let alone possibly across the country.
Jun 9, '13
I didn't mean to offend but I did start my post by saying I can only speak to my experience at my facility...
Jun 17, '13
Sentara has a Clinical Nurse II position available in their heart transplant program. The position is listed as Norfolk General Hospital (Virginia) but it's in the Sentara Heart Hospital, which is a separate hospital attached to Norfolk Gen. Not sure this link will work but if it doesn't you can go to sentara.com and look at job postings. Enter "transplant" into the search engine. The cardiac program here is in the top 50 in the country (top 1%). They had a transplant coordinator position listed recently too. Not sure if it is still available. Best of luck in finding what you're looking for.
Jun 20, '13
Quote from musician's wife
Jul 3, '13
Scott and white in temple Texas. 6 months on our floor we hire new grads and after 6 months and some classes you are taking care of lvads, heart transplants, lung transplants, etc. Check us out online. 4 North cardiology.
Oct 6, '13
Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois has a HUGE LVAD program. It is 10-15 minutes west of Chicago. They have 3 coordinators so far, but who knows, with the way they have been putting them in people, they may need more. And, depending on what floor you work on, you will see them a lot. I used to work there, I had SEVERAL LVAD patients, and even my dad had an LVAD. He unfortunately passed away from complications 5 months later (don't get me started!) but you learn soooo much from these patients because a lot of them are willing to talk about it. Good luck!