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    Kaplan University - KHE

    MS in Nursing

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    Medical Careers Institute

    RN to BSN

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    Fortis Institute

    Medical Assistant

Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse

Cardiac catheterization, or heart cath for short is a way by which catheter is inserted into a vessel of chamber of heart. The procedure can serve diagnostic purposes to check for any possible heart circumstances. It is used for the treatment of certain heart ailments.


Nurses of Cardiac cath lab can expect to work in ER, coronary care and intensive care units in hospitals, private clinics and in cardiovascular catheterization labs.


Interventional procedures administered by these nurses include angioplasties, valvuloplasties, and stent placements. Further, they are also required to assist doctors in implanting pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Because of the technical nature of the job, it is important to stay abreast of latest technologies and advancements in the field.

Besides this, cardiac cath lab nurses also have to be involved in patient care such as monitoring patients’ vital signs, giving them medications as per physicians’ instructions, maintaining patient records and organizing patients for medical procedures.

• Education and Training:

As with most nursing specializations, the starting point is becoming a certified registered nurse (RN). Two more steps are involved in the path to becoming an RN. Firstly, a candidate has to acquire a nursing degree – either an intensive two-year associate degree from an accredited nursing school or college (Associate of Science in Nursing – ASN), or a four-year bachelor degree from an accredited university (Bachelor of Science in Nursing – BSN). Next, the graduate applies for a licensing exam – National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) – and becomes a registered practitioner upon passing this exam.


After gaining two years of work experience as a full-time RN, the student has to obtain a cardiovascular nursing certification, which requires a further minimum of 2000 hours of experience and 30 hours of education in cardiovascular nursing followed by a cardiovascular nursing certification.


Now the nurse can look into specialized programs of training in hospitals. These training programs include classroom studies, as well as supervised experience in an actual cath lab. The nurse becomes acquainted with various cardiac conditions, as well as the tools and techniques to treat them. Depending on the hospital and the state rules, the length of training will vary, but usually, at least 6 months of training are involved before the this professional is allowed to work unsupervised.


After this, the nurse can choose to apply for a voluntary certification exam, which is administered by regional and national boards. Care must be taken to ensure that this certification is approved by the hospital and state where one intends to work.


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