I'm starting to get applications for grad programs in NA. There is one that asks me how often I work with swan ganz catheters. In the ICU I am in, it is very rare to work with one. I've been told by a couple physicians that they rarely put them in patients anymore. I hope my lack of experience with swans will not hurt my application. I seem to remember some discussion on this board relating to the lower number of swans in clinical settings, as compared to the past. I work with vents, drips, arterial lines on a daily basis...just not swans. Do you think the school will not consider me because of my infrequency of working with swans?
Apr 10, '05
I don't think it is the mechanics/operation they are most concerned with, moreso the interpretation of the data. In certain populations, i.e. cardiac, you live and die by the numbers and interpreting and treating the patient appropriatly is a must. I also wouldn't say you are excluded just because of the limited number of cases. Highlight that you have experience with swans, not limited experience. Going into the interview prepared to interpret a set of hemodynamic number couldn't hurt either. Good Luck.
Apr 10, '05
I agree to a point. The thing is though, if you do not have the proper mechanics with a Swan you do not get accurate numbers. Timing is everything, ie: shooting a CO or doing a wedge. Also you must know the proper setup of the equipment and how to run your monitor. You need to know an accurate height and weight of your patient and the temp of your CO injectate, etc. But this is all learned easily with practice, practice, practice.
The more difficult thing is knowing what to do with the numbers once you have them. I would think it would be more important to have a good understanding of hemodynamics and their effects on the patient rather than Swan experiance for admission to a program. It might also help if you knew the treatments for hemodynamicly unstable patients---what meds to use.
Apr 11, '05
All of the schools I interviewed at were more concerned if I could critically think than "how much" experience I had with swans. In fact one school asked if our hospital still even used PA catheters. So I don't think it should hurt you much if any
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