Actually, I'm a married male nurse working cvicu in s. fla. my employer is starting an adult heart transplant and ECMO program. I am seeking information for my coworkers and myself. Anyone willing to share experience is welcome.
1) how are transplant/ecmo nurses compensated? Is a specialty premium paid?
Are retention bonuses offered to enhance completion of education?
2) What is the minimum education a cvicu nurse should receive to safely care for
and ecmo patient?
3) Is is normal? safe? for a single nurse to care for the patient and monitor the ecmo
Aug 18, '14
Where I worked, perfusionists from the O.R. ran ECMO and nurses got no extra pay for transplant training (or VADS). If you can take care of a super sick post op, you can handle an ECMO patient. You know that the blood flow and oxygenation is 'pretty well' controlled for you. Keep that patient sedated and paralyzed and take care of the rest as you normally would.
Aug 21, '14
At my facility, the ECMO nurses are paid to the same scale as everybody else.
The ratio is at least 2 nurses... one for the ECMO and one for the patient... with others close by.
I am not sure what their training/competency requirements are.
Aug 26, '14
I am in australia. I did my cthr ICU at the Alfred in melbourne. Adult ecmo was looked after by the nurse in ICU and overseen by the perfusionists. Things got a bit political and ICU took it off the perfusionists. But the Alfred ICU ran a well regarded course attended by drs and nurses
Then ,special interest groups, ecmo
Aug 26, '14
Ccrns could do the ecmo course, no more money unfortunately, 1 nurse to care for ecmo, but plenty of support within unit to help out
Sep 4, '14
At my current hospital we do not get any compensation when caring for ECMO patients. In the past I worked for a hospital that would pay me an
additional $8.00/hr for VAD/VA ECMO patients.
Should an ECMO patient be 2:1 or 1:1 ? With any device, that depends on the patient. If a patient comes from the OR and is a train wreck, you may need 2 nurses to manage - one in the room, one out of the room. In my currently unit, I have never worked with another nurse to care for a patient receiving ECMO therapy. Although some may not agree, I believe ECMO patients are often one of the most stable patients on the unit- assuming the patient isn't bleeding or stroking out. This is because we have so much control over their cardiopulmonary function. It's very similar to managing centrimag BiVAD, and in fact we sometimes we use Centrimag with an oxygenator setup.
In my current unit, perfusion rounds every few hours to check blood gases, change settings, & document ECMO values. If we have any problems we can call perfusion, who are only a few min away. Otherwise, its very nurse driven.
There definitely should be some training course for a new program. There are a number of things you need to be aware of when managing these patients, (i.e. pressure changes in the circuit, chattering, flows dropping)
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