5 Things to Know About Being a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse

CategoriesTravel Nursing

According to the World Health Organization, Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death, with over 17 million people dying from these diseases every year. With these numbers, the Alliance for Heart Failure stated the number of heart specialist nurses will need to be doubled. This means that Cardiac Cath lab nurses are in high demand. Find out what skills and education you need to get your career started!

What is a Cardiac Cath Lab nurse?

Cardiac Cath nurses specialize in assisting patients that are undergoing cardiac procedures. They help monitor patients before, during, and after their surgery, as well as assist cardiologists during catheterization procedures.  Patients in a cath lab can be treated for an array of reasons, such as; measuring oxygen levels, biopsies of the heart muscle, and checking for heart disease. This means that nurses have a lot of different duties to perform. Some of those duties include: 

  • Ensuring proper paperwork is filled out
  • Prepping a patient for surgery ie. sterilizing the area a catheter will be inserted 
  • Assisting doctors when needed in procedures 
  • Monitoring patients post catheterization surgery
  • Incorporates patient teaching 
  • Updating patient charts with information about the procedure 
  • Updating family members about the procedure and informing them of any new medications 

Where does a cath lab nurse work?

Cath lab nurses work in cardiac catheterization labs either in hospitals that specialize in heart examination procedures or cardiac care centers in heart examination procedures. These nurses can also find themselves in planned surgeries or emergency situations, such as a patient having a heart attack. Nurses can work anywhere between 8-10 hours in a cardiac care center and 12 hours in a specialized hospital. 

What education does a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse need? 

In addition to holding a registered nurse degree, a cath lab nurse is also expected to earn Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certifications. To be able to qualify for these certifications, you will need:

  • A registered nurse license
  • Two years minimum of registered nurse experience
  • A minimum of 2000 hours working in cardiovascular nursing

A great way for a nurse to gain more experience and network is to work alongside a cardiologist. This will help you build up a great network of doctors and get your name out there when you’re looking for jobs. 

How much does a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse make? 

According to ZipRecruiter, a cath lab nurse makes $119,780 on average. We even have them listed as one of the top paying travel nursing specialties

Becoming a Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse is a very important and high-demand profession. These nurses assist patients who are sometimes undergoing very serious surgeries. They are there to assist with major parts of the operation pre, during, and post-surgery. While like most nurses specialties, becoming a cardiac cath lab nurse takes a lot of schooling and training, this job can be very rewarding. If you’re a travel nurse looking to be placed in a specialized cardiac facility, reach out to Stability today and let us help place you where you want to go! 

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