Cardiac catheterization lab nurse work with patients to measure how well the heart is working. Typically, this kind of nurse assists a doctor or team of doctors with the cardiac catheterization process, but can also perform other nursing tasks.
While a cardiac cath lab nurse most commonly deals with the catheterization process, but you could also help with angioplasties, valvuloplasties, implanting heart devices, and more. The exact tasks you’ll do depend on your level of education, but you could do things such as preparing the patient for his or her procedure, assisting the doctor during the procedure, and teaching the patient about home care. You could also help perform research tasks in a true lab setting, working with researchers to examine the results of a patient’s tests.
Salary and Career Options
The salary you can expect depends on the type of nurse you become – the more education you have, the more money you will make in most cases. You can also make more money by working with a specific group of people, such as infants, or working in a specialized hospital. On average, cardiac cath lab nurses make $81,000 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Your first step to becoming a cardiac cath lab nurse is to become an RN, which requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the field. Once you have a BSN, you can go on to get your master’s degree, which allows you to learn more about this specific medical field so you’re better prepared to work with heart disease patients. Your classes will focus on both general nursing skills and more specialized skills that you need for catheterization, and you’ll also participate in hands-on learning through clinical work at a medical facility with real cardiac patients.
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