I am currently a Ct stepdown nurse and I am looking to know more about what it would be like to be a cath lab nurse. Can someone tell me what a typical day is like for a cath lab nurse. My
hospital does do ecmo, vads, tavr, and lots of cath lab hybrid or surgeries. It is a teaching hospital or New York. I know our cath lab nurses do have to do on call sometimes. Please let me know!
It would depend on whether or not the nurses are actually in the procedure room. My cath lab procedures are all staffed by RCIS. Nurses work in the pre/post area.
In my hospital the nurses rotate between the labs and the holding area.
I work in a small cath lab that only runs 2 rooms, and we also prep and recover our patients. We are nurse dominant. My sister hospital I go to has about 7 rooms and a separate holding/recovery area.
My hospital doesn't do all those fancy procedures, we stick to international radiology and cardiac caths. So a typical day would be to get there and look up my patients on the schedule. If im circulating or monitoring, I will get my patient from holding and bring them to the procedure room and get them hooked up to our monitor. I make sure the sterile table and tech have everything they need. We help drape the patient with the sterile drape. I get the manifold connected to the art line system connected. Then we wait for the doc. When they get there we time out and start the procedure. We give sedation and monitor the patient, not anesthesia. As a circulator, you will be pushing meds, grabbing wires, catheters, and other supplies, monitoring the patient, making sure the contrast bottle doesn't run out, reminding the patient to stop moving their arms or legs.
After the procedure we make sure certain medications are given like plavix if needed. We get the pt back on the bed and move them out, and get the next one in.
The worst part about cath lab is the call, and it is also the best part. I take about 4-5 days of call a week, and I get called in sometimes never in a week, sometimes 3 in a day. There is no pattern. You get called in at 3am and are there with a tech and maybe another nurse or tech. The patient might be ok, or they might have just coded 4 times. They might code again on the table.
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