Cath Lab

  1. I have been out of nursing school with my BSN for almost two years and I've been in a very busy ED since I graduated.

    Recently I decided I need a change and I love anything cardiac. I accepted a position in a CCL that's not that busy. In their down time they insert PICCs, moderately sedate for CT guided cases, mediports, etc.

    I orient in 3 weeks and I'm soooooo nervous. Since I've been in the ED I know a moderate amount of a little bit of everything and I don't want to look like a total moron. Any suggestions on some reading I can do or any helpful tips to lessen my anxiety?
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    About NursewithHeart

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 21; Likes: 10
    Cardiac Cath Lab
    Specialty: ED, CCL, PICC placement, Education


  3. by   CCL"Babe"
    I went from the ED to the Cath Lab as well.

    Sign up for 's interventional cardiology news letter. There is a website CathLab Digest that has info. TCT - (TransCatheter Theraputics) is an annual international conference - they have a website as well.

    Study up on the cardiac anatomy - the arteries in particular and what they supply.

    See what you can find out about catheters, sheaths, wires and balloons/stents. The catheters all have names and unique shapes ie JR 4. That is the typical catheter for a angiography of the RCA.

    Brush up on sterile technique. Learn your wave forms and heart pressures.

    Good luck! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did
  4. by   Bluehair
    I did a similar transition into a cath lab from ICU. Our role was similar, but we actually had a full shift where we rotated as the 'x-ray nurse' for the day. You will want to spend quality time getting your anatomy down really solid. Thinks look different when the camera moves to different angles. If you can borrow one of those model hearts, you can hold it up and look at it from different angles and get the idea of what you are seeing when the camera is moving to different angles.
    A useful site and possibly organization for you to consider is the American Radiologic Nurse Association (ARNA). They have a newsletter (don't remember frequency) that has useful articles on all sorts of radiologic info.
    Enjoy the transition! Don't be too hard on yourself, no one walks into any specialty area knowing everything they need to know.
    Good luck!