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any cardiac rehab nurses out there?

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by momathoner09 momathoner09, LPN (Member)

momathoner09 has 3 years experience as a LPN.

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I want to be a cardiac rehab nurse...eventually. I have worked in a program before w/my 1st degree and went back to nursing school with this as my long term goal in mind. Now that I am getting a little closer to actually graduating (less than a year) I am trying to come up with a plan to actually acheive my goal someday. I have a meeting with the dean about the possibility of taking a clinical elective next semester. Basically it is anywhere from 1-3 credit hours of hands-on clincial expereince without all that darn paperwork-woo hoo! Anybody have any suggestions of where I should do this elective? Telemetry? I am not sure what all the choices are but I wanted to go into that meeting somewhat prepared/knowledgable. Thanks!

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I am a cardiac rehab nurse and I love it. But....this was a very coveted position and it took a long time to get because no one ever leaves this department. You do need a strong understanding of cardiac meds, telemetry and just plain people skills, our patients love to talk and they are often very anxious about recurring cardiac events. my suggestion to you, if this is truly what you want to do is work on a telemetry floor, PCU, MICU or any where you will come in contact with the phase one educators and develelop a rapor with them because often the job is spread by word of mouth before it is posted, and the reccomendation of nurses already in the department will carry a lot of weight.good luck

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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I was trying to find some information that I might have already had on this for you. The Discover Nursing website doesn't have a specific listing for Cardiac Rehab Nursing, just Cardiac Care Nursing (http://www.discovernursing.com/jnj-specialtyID_247-dsc-specialty_detail.aspx). However, I worked on a stepdown unit for a number of years and have known of family who had open heart surgery and participated in cardiac rehab programs. I do believe that many of the nurses who work in this area started out as CCU, cardiac surgery unit or cardiac telemetry nurses. Where cardiac rehab is provided through a private physician's practice, it is likely that the doctor literally stole some of his nurses from the local hospital (I've seen doctors do this a number of times).

I saw a very interesting thing in one hospital. Two of the cardiologists would go into the CCU and know the nurses by name, discuss their patients with them and basically, consult. I heard them more than once tell other nurses to "ask Linda" in CCU because "she'll tell you how I want that done". In another hospital, the cardiac surgeon actually invited one of the CCU nurses into the OR. She eventually became "his" surgical scrub nurse and went to work for him. Some of these docs aren't stupid. They take the time to cultivate a nurse who is willing to work with them and do things their way. They are, after all, the "captain of the ship".

You might stroll into a couple of cardiac rehab centers and shoot the breeze with the people running them. Ask how they got their jobs there, how they advertise open positions, who's the big mucky-muck to talk to. I would also check out any information you might find on the sites of the professional organizations that are listed toward the bottom of the Discover Nursing article above since they are all weblinks.

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momathoner09 has 3 years experience as a LPN.

235 Posts; 5,920 Profile Views

Thank you for your advice! I signed up today for a 2 credit hour clinical elective on cardiac/neurosurgical unit so I can gain some extra "hands-on" experience with these type of patients. Is it possible for new grads to get jobs on these type of units or do they require more experience?

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