Swan-Ganz Use

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    I'm a brand new nurse and the hospital I did my clinicals in did not use these. I don't want to say they NEVER did, but the general consensus at that hospital was that current research does not support their use, therefore they were pretty much phased out (we didn't even keep the supplies for them in our equipment room). However the hospital I am at now uses them all the time, and many of the nurses are not happy about how often one of the docs here will just put them in everybody (including non-cardiac patients). So my question is how often (if ever) are they used at your facility and what sort guidelines are in place for their use? The docs at my old hospital seemed to do just fine without them, so it confuses me why the doc here is so into using them with all of the risks they pose. Also, in your personal opinions (especially those of you have been nurses for a long time and greater amount of experience using them) do you think that the benefits outweigh the risks??
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  4. 0
    What types of patients are you seeing them used in? We inserted a lot in a unit I used to work in to assist with patient management in sepsis as the pulmonary and surgery teams didn't drink the koolaid with the flotrac and precept caths.

    A good rule of thumb with numbers, diagnostics, etc. is "IS the result going to change my management of this patient?"
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    I guess that's my question about them. Anytime I've mentioned that my old facility did not use them, everyone would ask well how did you get CO/CI? So then I ask well what are we using those numbers to do? How much does it impact the course of therapy?? I honestly have no clue, because I have so little experience with them. As far as the types of patients, other than CABG, its been so variable that I can't recall off the top of my head, but I will start paying more attention to that. How do you incorporate those numbers into your nursing care?? So far in my limited experience I haven't used them for anything, bc honestly I don't know how to, but if I'm missing something I definitely would like to know :-)
  6. 1
    Quote from LifetimeLearner08
    How do you incorporate those numbers into your nursing care??
    Some drugs are titrated based off of your hemodynamic measurements.

    Numbers you can get from a Swan include: PAS/PAD, CVP, CO, CI, EDV/I, PVR/I, SVR/I, EF, SV/I, and SVO2.
    Zombi RN likes this.
  7. 0
    I see... I haven't had orders to do that yet, so I guess I will get a better grasp of it when it happens.... I guess I'm just having trouble coming around to them since I've been groomed during my education/school clinical experience to believe that PA catheters are the devil and now working at a place where they are king lol
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    Quote from LifetimeLearner08
    I guess I'm just having trouble coming around to them since I've been groomed during my education/school clinical experience to believe that PA catheters are the devil and now working at a place where they are king lol
    Take about 7/8ths of what you were told by your nursing professors and throw it out the window. It's time to learn how it's really done. There are docs/PA/NPs that will always be ones willing to put a swan in a dead person and other providers who wouldn't even think of placing one. It really just comes down to provider preference, familiarity with the numbers, and their views on using other non-invasive methods of measurement.

    A swan can be very particular sometimes and can often give inaccurate numbers when you don't know what you're doing with it, if it's placed in the wrong zone, etc.


    You could check out www.pacep.org for more education on the PA Cath.
    nursenotamaid, Esme12, StayLost, and 1 other like this.
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    Haha yes I do realize that "happy nursing school hospital" does not = real world hospital... my preceptors are often amused by the things we were told in school lol... However, this was a hospital-wide view, not just that of my nursing professors.... And thanks for the website I'll definitely check that out... practiced shooting some COs today and do see how it can be particular. Had to do it a few times before my numbers were close to what everyone else was getting, but I'm going to work on getting it down... Thanks again for all the help :-)
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    It's truly based upon what the patient's dx is. I work with open heart patients so we see a ton of swans. As another poster said, they are also used a great deal with septic patients. I laugh when I've worked at some facilities where nurses state that "no one uses swan's anymore"...usually this is said at a facility where the sickest patients are life flighted out or they do no cardiac surgery. It's truly amazing how each facility things their way to practice is the ONLY way!

    I do have a problem with docs who put swans in then don't use the information they provided to direct care. That drives me nuts. If I'm allowed to tailor care on the information provided, I'm a huge proponent!I love swans, they can tell so much.
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    I worked for 8 years in an ICU where swans were used every day. Just about all of the pulmonologists and cardiologists used them. We used to say it must be a real money-maker for the docs! Oh, you have a heplock and 02 at 2 lpm?? You need a swan! Now I work in an ICU that NEVER uses them. Go figure.
    StayLost likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from meandragonbrett


    You could check out www.pacep.org for more education on the PA Cath.
    Not to hijack this thread but I was struggling with these concepts and this link has really helped me get a better overall understanding and I really appreciate you posting it!


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