Catheter Laboratory RN

Learn About Picking Up Jobs in the Cath Lab Nursing Specialty

Find PRN Cath Lab RN Jobs Near You With Nursa™

Catheter laboratory RNs are highly-skilled and this is a nursing specialty in great demand. The need for cath lab registered nurses (RNs) is only set to grow over the coming years as the rate of heart disease increases and hospitals expand their rosters of services. Many healthcare facilities across the United States post PRN cath lab jobs for RNs every single day.

picture of nurses working in the cath lab

Why do nurses enjoy working in the catheter laboratory? Typically cath-lab jobs are available on days with the option of 8- or 12-hour shifts, which is one perk to working in this nursing specialty. Other nurses enjoy working in highly critical areas of care that command a particular set of skills for a number of reasons. Keep reading to learn more about working in this field of nursing.

What is a Cardiac Catheter Laboratory (Cath Lab)?

A cardiac catheter laboratory, or cath lab for short, is a department within a hospital or healthcare center where various outpatient procedures are performed that allow a physician to view the inside of the coronary arteries and the workings of the heart – mainly – catheterizations.

Patients are sent to the cardiac cath lab for a variety of cardiac procedures which can either be planned in advance, done routinely, or done in emergent cases. Here are some examples of things that can be done in the cath lab setting:

  • Blockages of arteries can be found
  • Heart disease can be diagnosed
  • Blood pressure and flow can be measured
  • Coronary angiograms performed
  • Oxygen levels measured in the four chambers of the heart
  • Heart muscle biopsies taken
  • Defects of the heart identified

What Does a Catheter Laboratory RN Do?

A registered nurse who works in a cath lab assists the medical team by monitoring and assessing patients before, during, and after any procedure done in the catheter laboratory. RNs who pick up cath lab jobs will frequently administer medication throughout all stages of the cardiac procedures. Scrubbing in as a cath lab nurse is sometimes necessary in order to assist during procedures.

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Where Do Cath Lab Nurses Work?

The catheter laboratory RN nursing specialty requires nurses with a very specific set of skills, which creates an environment where these nurses remain in high demand throughout the United States. Also, these niche-specific skills help to command a high pay salary in this field of nursing, whether that is through full-time staff cath lab jobs or picking up PRN shifts near you in this specialty.

Hospitals are competing with each other and expanding their services, which means more hospitals and healthcare centers are getting their trauma and vascular certifications. These expansions also include an increase in the number of cath labs. A full team of nurses is needed in order for one of these departments to be fully operational.

Recommended Certifications for Catheter Laboratory RNs

Registered nurses who work in this specialty must meet the standard requirements that apply to any nurse in terms of their basic licensure, BLS, ACLS, and other nursing certifications as required by the facility.

Cardiac cath lab RNs are highly encouraged to obtain the following certification to show their dedication to the specialty. They can upload it to their Nursa™ profile to show potential managers with PRN cath lab jobs:

  • Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (RN-BC)

What are the Characteristics of a Good Cath Lab Nurse?

Nurses who move to the cath lab nursing specialty usually have previous experience in critical care and a good handle on cardiac skills and experience with arrhythmias, 12-lead EKG, and hemodynamics. These highly-specialized skills make the nurse a good asset to the cath lab environment.

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