What is a post cath interventional unit like?

  1. I'm a new grad and I have an interview next week for a "Post Cath Stepdown Unit" at a big level 1 hospital.

    I'm confused because I have never heard of such a unit. My goal is really to be in the ICU, but since I'm a new grad, that has been extremely difficult to get into. Especially in New York where the competition is so high. So it sounds like they're calling this post cardiac interventional unit a stepdown to get my interest.

    Can someone tell me what this unit is like?
    What's the patient population?
    Is it high-acuity and would you consider it "stepdown."
    What kinds of things do nurses to do on this unit?
    Would it be a good stepping stone to get into the ICU?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   kiszi
    Every hospital is different, but mine has a cardiac stepdown/progressive unit that sounds similar. Most acute post-cath intervention patients go there if they are stable enough to not need ICU. Nurses there do sheath pulls, drips, BIPAP, etc. All patients are on tele monitoring with bedside and central monitors. The acuity can be high at times. It's a great stepping stone for ICU; many nurses in my cardiac unit have come from there.
  4. by   Vana21
    I would assume it would be like a cath lab recovery area which would include pulling sheaths, watching groin sites for bleeding or retroperitoneal bleeding, taking down and off TR bands and doing EKGS and post labs with education and maybe discharging outpatients. It can be considered critical care and would be a good first job for a new grad
  5. by   Wolf at the Door
    Can someone tell me what this unit is like? The above post by Vana21 was accurate.
    What's the patient population? see Vana21
    Is it high-acuity and would you consider it "stepdown."? No
    What kinds of things do nurses to do on this unit? see Vana21
    Would it be a good stepping stone to get into the ICU? Not really because these patients are stable. Any unstable patient would be sent to ICU. I would think there would be very few meds on this unit. I don't see this as something that will helping developing time management. A job is a job and that's all you need to start.
  6. by   MunoRN
    There's no standard definition for the characteristics of units that patients go to post cath. What it sounds like you're referring to is the unit they would go to after going through the immediate post-cath area (similar to a PACU, where patients are recovered and sheaths are typically pulled) where patients are either discharged from or go to an inpatient unit like the one you seem to be referring to.

    This are typically "progressive care", which is sometimes used interchangeably with "step down". These units can be fairly low acuity, and while the patients may be spending the night they are often coded as "observation" patients. It's also possible that these patients go to a true progressive care or step down level unit, where patients may be on titrated drips, MCS devices, etc. The only way to know whether this would be a unit that is not too far removed from an ICU is to ask more specifically what kind of patients they take.

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