cath lab/cath lab prep and recovery

  1. Okay, this may sound like a dumb question, but is there a difference between cath lab and cath lab prep and recovery? If so, what are the differences? I have been a nurse for two years: one year on tele and one year in ICU. I know cath lab can be intense. I'm not sure if I'm ready or if I need more experience, but i'm going for an interview for a position anway to see more about it. It is called outpatient cath lab prep and recovery. I am just wondering if anyone can tell me a little more about that job description if it is actually different than doing procedures IN the cath lab. Thanks!
  2. Visit palmettogirl profile page

    About palmettogirl

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 23; Likes: 13
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in ICU, med/surg


  3. by   CCL RN
    There's a difference...

    Holding area is where the prep/recovery is done. You have plenty experience working there if you've pulled many sheaths in your career. For an outpt lab, you admit them, start an iv, draw labs, do an ekg, shave/prep the area, and then send them off.

    Then for recovery, you monitor their access site and/or pull the sheath(s). You monitor their vitals as they are fresh from conscious sedation. You have to be prepared for an occasional emergency, such as a vasovagal response, closure failure, or even mental status changes. We do give them plenty of anticoagulants after all...then you do the discharge teaching and send them home.

    The cath lab is where the real fun and action is at... I am fortunate that I was allowed in with my limited ICU experience of 5 years. Yes, 5 years! Most of the nurses had 15-20. It is very intense, and you must be very comfortable with gtts, IABPs, multi-tasking, assessment skills, and you MUST have the ability to anticipate! 1 year of ICU will not get you into any lab that I know, but if you work in holding then you've got a chance to cross-train in the lab.

    In my lab, we rotate through holding area. Bleh. It's boring. But it can be really, really busy! But I prefer the action of the lab.
  4. by   palmettogirl
    Thanks for your reply! That actually sounds fun to me! haha
  5. by   Southtown57
    Hi, I worked CTU/CCU for 1 year then went to Cath Lab. We do 15-25 cases a day. If you know how to fix a pt's HR, preload, contractility, and afterload then you are golden. It is not crazy hard like everyone describes even with me only being in nursing for 1.5 years. Just know your stuff from ICU and ask questions during orientation. Good luck.

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