New grad in Cardiac Cath Lab Recovery??? - page 2

Well, I think I already know the answer to this, but I will ask anyway :-) What do you nurses think about a brand new nurse starting out in the cardiac cath lab recovery area??? I have a strong... Read More

  1. by   jaqs96
    Hi there,

    I just had to find out how you were doing after a couple of weeks since your post?? Like yourself, I had a difficult time finding a job but a new grad position in the Cardiac Cath Pre and Post Intervention Unit opened up, I applied, and was offered the position... I absolutely love it. I can see why the staff turnover is low compared to the rest of the hospital or other units. I oriented in the cardiac step down unit for a couple of weeks and if that opportunity presents itself to you, definitely go for it... it was great experience but it was nice to have returned to back to the recovery unit!
  2. by   MissBrittanyRN
    Hey there. Just logging on for the first time in a while. I have been very busy with orientation. I have actually been spending time at home burried in the EKG books lol. I start critical care courses next week and want a head start. Floor orientation has been going well. This is my fourth week, and I feel like I have learned more than my entire nursing school experience lol. I could not ask for better preceptors. And yes, there is so much to learn, but I have another five months! There are always bad seeds everywhere so I was prepared to experience a few negative coworkers that were unsupportive, but I have not had even one yet, which is awesome. Some of my days have gone better than others, but even the days that did not go well did not end up with negative criticism, only productive learning experiences. We learned what I needed to work on, and myself and my preceptors worked together, formed a plan, and fixed it! Are you still orienting jaq96? How is it going?
  3. by   jaqs96
    Hi Miss Brittany,

    I only had orientation for 3 months w/ a preceptor... I started back in August so although I am officially off of orientation, I still insist on having someone by my side during certain procedures such as: femoral arterial pressure line setup... don't want any air in those lines. Like yourself, I loved my exposure to the CCL during school and had a great interest in cardiac but did not necessarily see myself starting out in this department... in this economy, we had to grab what we could and we both lucked out. I can see working in this department long term and if that is the case, I think the experience will be very valuable... kind of a mix of critical care/outpt type of environment. I am attending a two day EKG class onsite next month and reviewing the book on my own... so I'm with you regarding learning the cardiac rhythms. I had to get my ACLS prior to accepting the position... did you have to do the same? Well, good luck! I think we are going to be just fine starting out in CCL recovery, in fact, probably better than fine:-))
  4. by   MissBrittanyRN
    It's great that you have the support from your coworkers after orientation. I am sure I will be blessed the same, which is great because as you would know by now, there is just so much.... I have not taken ACLS yet. I actually planned on taking it ahead of time to be more marketable, but I was concerned that it would not make sense without having the rhythm and basic pharmacology knowledge. Then I had my interview and mentioned that ACLS was a short term goal, and they suggested that I wait until I was on the floor for a little while, and that the hospital would pay for it. I too see myself sticking with this for a while. I love the short term acute environment. I previously worked in L&D, so I am sensing a trend lol. If I do decide to move on to something else in the future, I know that this experience will be incredibly valuable, but I plan on doing this for a long time. It's hard, and I beat myself up a lot, but my preceptors think that I am doing fine and progressing normally. But you know what they say about being your own worst critic. Not to mention, I did not expect this specialty to be easy, especially as a new grad, and everyone warned me that it was going to be very challenging.
  5. by   dognurse
    How did this all work out for you? I am starting in the Cath Lab on Monday and am scared. I do not have CCU/CVU exp, but have 2 years nursing experience. Did you feel behind the 8 ball, or did you step up to the challenge?
  6. by   MissBrittanyRN
    Hi dognurse,

    This message is actually perfect timing, I just finished my very last day of precepted orientation yesterday! It was extended a little bit longer because they added a ton of additional classroom experiences in addition to my floor time. Looking back, some days were much better than others, and vice versa. It was an amazing orientation though. I am nervous about being on my own next week, but not as bad as I thought I would be, because I am never really on my own there. The next month is already mapped out with resources, how many patient I will take, etc. But if it doesnt work out, management and my preceptors have shown support in my being able to come back to them and remediate if necessary.

    It is the perfect mix of nursing. I was concerned that it would be too cardiac focused (which it is) so that I would not learn ANY thing else. But we get patients on ventilators and other situations waiting for critical care beds, so I really do see a lot. The most comforting things is that I am not expected to care for these patients alone until I am much more experienced, but will definiately have the experience, if that makes sense. As I said before, it's short term acute because of the outpatient setting (which could turn inpatient), but very intense and invasive often. We titrate drips unlike most outpatient settings, and I never thought that I would be pulling femoral artery lines, etc. We get basic diagnostic cases, and we get intervents, and we have patients that we have to prep for open heart surgery. We actually also prep and recover some interventional radiology patients, peripheral angiography, carotid, pacemakers, cardioversions, ablations, etc. So, we are specialized but pretty widely. And our patients are not the same. People have their own chronic conditions that we individualize our care around, so we do care for other aspects than their hearts. I was worried that I would learn cardiac, and nothing else. Many of our patients have comorbitities (diabetic, renal, etc.)

    I am lucky at the specific hospital that I work in, with how much I see. We get several transfers a day from other hospitals. Something that you may already know, that I did not before starting here is that if a hospital does not have an open heart surgery center, they often cannot intervent during a cath unless it is an extreme emergency. We have OHS so we get a lot of cases that other areas may not.

    Well I can go on and on and on and on, so please please tell me about where you are going. I don't think you have started yet, but have you shadowed? I am excited for you!
  7. by   CCL RN
    Quote from MissBrittanyRN

    . Something that you may already know, that I did not before starting here is that if a hospital does not have an open heart surgery center, they often cannot intervent during a cath unless it is an extreme emergency. .
    That's not true at all, FYI. We have several hospitals in my town that do interventional caths with no CT surg back up.
  8. by   MissBrittanyRN
    Quote from CCL RN
    That's not true at all, FYI. We have several hospitals in my town that do interventional caths with no CT surg back up.
    Thanks for the clarification. Just like many things in nursing, it must vary by area. I have recently learned that one hospital's policy depends on the specific vessel involved....go figure :-)
  9. by   mwall84
    I have a phone interview for the cath lab today. I have a unique blend of experience and skill set. I am a Paramedic and an RN. I have been an RN since January of 12, and have been a Paramedic for 5 years. I have CPR, ACLS, PALS, and various other Instructor certifications, and I help teach at a community college where we teach ACLS 3-4 times a year, and also am in charge of continuing education at the EMS department where I work part time. I work in the ER part time, and I currently work as an RN in the Remote Medical Setting. I understand sterile technique ( at my present job as a Remote Medical Specialist I do sutures fairly often), and have a very good grasp of cardiology and cardiac anatomy.

    I know I will be walking in with a lot to learn, and I understand it is going to be a steep learning curve for me. I just want to know exactly what to expect. Am I going to be resented for having my ACLS Instructor under my belt? Codes are nothing new to me, and although no code is the same, I am very confident in my abilities to handle a code whenever one will happen. I just would like some guidance and input on what to expect.


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