question for cardiac nurses

  1. I'm looking to switch into a field of nursing that would both broaden my skill set and provide a challenge. Up till now, my focus has been community/public health nursing. I'm not feeling challenged and after looking around I have noticed a lot of telemetry positions available in my area.

    What I'm wondering is--are these positions pretty different from general med/surg? I worked med/surg for a few months after graduating and had the worst experience ever! Granted, the culture of the unit/hospital really stunk and I realize not all do.

    It made me a little gun shy of the whole hospital setting. But, now I think I'm ready to give it a shot again and am wondering what cardiac nursing is like and if you're happy as a nurse in such a position. Thanks a million!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   SCRN1
    I think cardiac nursing would broaden your skill set & provide a challenge. This isn't to say that you won't still get med/surg patients sometimes though. There are patients who would normally be put on a med/surg floor that are admitted to a tele floor because they also have a heart condition and need telementry. If you don't want to work on a tele floor, there are other cardiac settings in which you could work. The hospital where I'm working is considered a heart hospital in our area. Each unit is specialized. For example, we have a floor where patients are admitted who have unstable angina, CHF, etc. These patients may need a heart cath or CABG, but are stable enough that they don't have to be in ICU or IICU. After a cath, they can return to this unit. If they have a sheath that's not removed until hours after the cath, they are sent to another unit where those nurses are specifically trained in removing sheaths. There's another unit where patients will be sent after having a CABG. Or, you could choose to work in the OR, cath lab, etc.
  4. by   Jayla
    Quote from SCRN1
    I think cardiac nursing would broaden your skill set & provide a challenge. This isn't to say that you won't still get med/surg patients sometimes though. There are patients who would normally be put on a med/surg floor that are admitted to a tele floor because they also have a heart condition and need telementry. If you don't want to work on a tele floor, there are other cardiac settings in which you could work. The hospital where I'm working is considered a heart hospital in our area. Each unit is specialized. For example, we have a floor where patients are admitted who have unstable angina, CHF, etc. These patients may need a heart cath or CABG, but are stable enough that they don't have to be in ICU or IICU. After a cath, they can return to this unit. If they have a sheath that's not removed until hours after the cath, they are sent to another unit where those nurses are specifically trained in removing sheaths. There's another unit where patients will be sent after having a CABG. Or, you could choose to work in the OR, cath lab, etc.
    Thank you so much for your response--definitely food for thought. I would imagine it would be hard to find a job on a more specialized unit with no cardiac nursing experience, though. I'm not opposed to having M/S patients; I just don't want to end up on such a dysfunctional unit again. But I suppose that can happen no matter what area of nursing you are working in.

    How much training could I expect as a new nurse on a tele unit? Would I be trained in reading EKG strips and ACLS?
  5. by   madwife2002
    I am interested in working on a tele floor one day-can you give me any advice and what expectations should I have.
  6. by   Spatialized
    How much training could I expect as a new nurse on a tele unit? Would I be trained in reading EKG strips and ACLS?
    I just got hired on to a cardiac unit, which has me incredibly excited and here's what they told me to expect (your mileage may vary...):
    ACLS within 6 months (3 months if day shift, I have NOCS)
    Dysrhythmia course
    Sheath Removal
    Pacemaker course

    At where I externed, you did ACLS and the same critical care course the ER and ICU new grads/transfers went to so it was fairly extensive. The unit I'm on now is focused mainly towards cardiac issues with medical tele overflow. If it's just plain med tele, it may be a little more all-inclusive, but I'm not 100% sure about that. If nothing more, you'll be tested and pushed to broaden and improve your skill set. And yes, horribly dysfunctional units exist anywhere, not just med/surg.

    Good luck!
    Tom

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