Cath lab prep and recovery

Specialties Cardiac


I was just offered a job in the cath lab of a busy teaching hospital. My experience is in step down and pre op (open heart and vascular) in a smaller but busy hospital. I start in about a month but was wondering if there is anything I should review or look over that would help me. I have never recovered patients so I know all that will be new. I shadowed for a few hours and it seemed similar to pre op in some ways with patient flow. Any input would be helpful- thank you!

Congrats on the new job! I recommend becoming familiar with the process. Your patients might come back with an arterial sheath still in the groin. The art of pulling is fairly straight forward. Hold pressure for 20 minutes, gradually easing off after the first 7. However, closure devices are very popular and quickly deployed in the lab. The biggest danger is a hematoma or bleed at the femoral site. Depending on the doc, radial access is becoming popular due to lower risk of bleeding. Cath lab recovery has a much different work flow than a floor. You might love it, but even if you hate it learn everything you can and transition into the lab. Several at our facility have one that and love their job.

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