Cath lab newbie

  1. I have been doing ER/ICU for 6 years, and was just hired for a cath lab position. I will start in their pre/post op area and eventually train for the actual lab. I have experience with sheath pulls. IABP, vasopressors, and all the normal CCU/MICU duties. I have been doing ER for the last few years, so I am familiar with the acute pre-op for STEMI.

    What do I need to brush up on? In SICU/CCU I recovered my own patients. My EKG and ACLS skills are used all the time. .

    I am worried about what I don't know.

  2. Visit SillyStudent profile page

    About SillyStudent

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 290; Likes: 314
    EP RN; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in ER/ICU, CCL, EP


  3. by   SanDiegoRN86
    I'd love to know more about cath lab as it may be an open position I may try for. Hoping someone answers!
  4. by   canned_bread
    Well - in recovery you need the normal recovery skills, such as airway management for post sedation and GA and neuro obs.
    You also need to know rhythm strips and be able to keep an eye on that for changes, and be able to see the most subtle changes, such as the difference between someone going from sinus to junctional rhythm.
    Also sheath pull knowledge, which you have. You will quickly learn how to find the most difficult of pulses, which is essential in the cath lab too.
    I wouldn't worry to much, I found that I picked up recovery very quickly.
    Sorry I haven't been much help - but if you have any specific questions feel free to ask!!
  5. by   SillyStudent
    You were very helpful! I finally start the job this Monday. Hopefully, it will be a good fit!
  6. by   RNslif
    You're overqualified! The monitor is primarily responsible for monitoring the EKG, the circulator simply grabs nonsterile equipment for the doctor and scrub tech. Cath lab nurses are responsible for giving IV moderate sedation, usually a benzo & a narcotic. If your lab doesn't have a circulator, you'll be doing it. That means learning where stuff is in the room.

    Of course, you're going to be watching the vitals along with the monitor and everybody else in the room. As a cath lab nurse, I'm actually jealous of your experience. This is my first RN position and my confidence in my ALCS skills isn't where it needs to be, only because we rarely have codes. Good luck in your new position and enjoy the lowered workload.