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electrophysiology RNs?

wish2bRN wish2bRN (New) New

hi all! i'm jennifer, a 43 yr old student graduating in june 07. i came across a job description at a hospital for rns in the electrophysiology lab, and it sounded so interesting i'm trying to learn more about it. the job description was as follows:

electrophysiology (ep) lab description

  • a highly technical area which performs diagnostic and interventional procedures to patients with electrical conduction problems
  • ep rns utilize their critical care skills and knowledge to ensure the safe delivery of patient care
  • responsibilities include assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating care as well as performing circulating functions during procedures, providing conscious sedation, scrubbing for surgical implantation of pacemakers and internal cardiac defibrillators (icd), evaluation of pacemakers and defibrillators during procedures, to in-house patients and in device clinic
  • high level of decision-making and autonomy is critical

just wondering if anyone can share their knowledge or experience with this cardiac specialty? thanks!

LadyT618, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Home Health, Primary Care.

Very interesting article. I never knew what EPS involved until reading this article. Thanks for the info.

AfloydRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/ ICU.

Our EP lab RN's do stress tests, order and maintain all cardiac equiptment and circulate in CVL when needed. You do need some experience as you will be working fairly indep.


Specializes in CCU/CVU/ICU.

WE have a fairly busy EP-lab at the hospital where i'm employed. In general, it's rare (never happened) that they will hire a new-grad. It's a very specialized type of nursing...and most who do it, like it alot. It'd probably be in a new-grads best interest to obtain some experience on a cardiac-type unit...it'll make you more marketable and you wont lose your skills...(which you would never develope in such a specialized role (ep-nurse)). 75% of the ep-nurses' duties (at my hospital) include 'clinic' (office-type stuff, checking pace-makers, seeing ppm patients, etc.) and about 25% 'lab'-type stuff (pacemaker insertion, ep-studies, etc.). Our ep-nurses dont do stress-tests, or any other 'cardiac' stuff...there's a seperate department for that.

Wow! I found that article extremely informative, thanks for providing the link. I also do think that an RN will feel more comfortable in an EP lab after gaining some experience working as a cardiac nurse. I'm currently applying for a monitor tech position, and hope to continue from there.

It all depends upon the setting. In a hospital you will typically be associated with the cath lab. There you will experience EP studies for arrhythmias, ie; VT, SVT, SSS, AF. If pt has documented hx of prior arrhythmias then you should be expecting cardiac ablation, PPM or ICD implantation. They also assist in performing tilt table tests. In a clinic setting you may either work for an EP or in a pacer clinic. What your responsibilities are there will vary. As for being a new grad, it all depends upon the availability of education/training. Often the pacer reps, ie guidant, st jude or medtronic, will offer some training/education. If education is not available then spend 2-3 years in an area that exposes you to cardiac pts. Please let me know if I can answer any more questions.


Specializes in Cardiac/ICU/Med-Surg/Geriatrics.

I have been working in the EP Lab for almost 2 yrs now. The EP Lab was established at the same time I started, so we all were "newbie nurses". Our manager had prior EP experience, which has helped us. We try to learn what all the "squiggly" lines are during EP procedures such as studies and ablations. It's amazing to put a few catheters into the heart, and see intracardiac signals and be able to see electrical conduction coming from different areas of the heart. Although, you don't get the same "instant gratisfaction" that you get in the Cath Lab, it is still very cool to ablate someone's atrial fibrillation right out of them. I feel as though I was bombarded with info, and I still have a long way to go before I feel comfortable in this setting, but I learn everyday, and the docs are helpful. I worked in the Cath Lab for 3 yrs before EP and I worked the ICU for 2 yrs before the Cath Lab, so I feel comfortable in "emergency" situations.:redbeathe

TO: icunrse

I was wondering why you moved from Cath Lab to EP Lab? I have the opportunity to move from the ER to either the Cath Lab or EP Lab and I am not sure which one to pick.


Specializes in Cath Lab/ ICU.

Rdw- the descision to move from ED to cath or EP may rest with what kind of nurse you are.

I went from ICU to cath. I enjoy working hard, being challenged, and having exciting patients. We do pacers and such, but I don't work EP. When we do pacers I want to gouge my eyes out with the nearest close blunt object. It's boring, long, and painful. I hear EP is a lot like that. This is, of course, my opinion.

The CCL is fast, fun, exciting, and challenging. Again, my opinion as well.

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