Cardiac/cardiovascular nurses are registered nurses who specialize in providing care for people who have heart and blood vessels diseases. Cardiovascular nurses are among the most sought after health care professions. Although most cardiovascular nurses work in hospitals, they offer a wide range of services in multiple settings.
Cardiac nurses use their expertise to care for patients of all ages. Most provide care to adults. The geriatric population proportionally receives the most care that cardiovascular nurses provide. Some cardiovascular nurses specialize in the care of newborns and children however.
Cardiovascular nurses assess, plan, implement and evaluate health care services for patients suffering from genetic malformations, myocardial infarctions and vascular diseases. They provide services to people suffering from many other cardiac ills as well. Patients may have heart valve problems, or abnormal heartbeats. They may suffer from fluid build up and have high blood pressure. Many of the patients that cardiac nurses care for have multiple serious health problems. Cardiac patients often present with diabetes, respiratory, renal or even memory problems.
Cardiovascular nurses administer medications and educate patients about safe use of powerful cardiac drugs.
Cardiovascular nurses are essential members of multidisciplinary teams that provide care to acute and chronically ill cardiac patients.
Cardiac nurses employ array of holistic interventions to care for patients with cardiovascular conditions.
Cardiac issues are frightening to most people. The cardiac nurse provides emotional support to patients and families faced with life threatening conditions.
Cardiovascular nurses are registered nurses who have specialized training. Many cardiovascular nurses work in critical are areas, such as intensive care units. New graduate nurses are not usually hired directly into critical care units.
Cardiac care nurses are required to have certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Training programs are available at medical centers. They are offered on a regular basis in areas with large populations. Nurses in rural areas may need to travel within their state to as programs are lee frequently available in areas with lower populations.
Cardiac nurses must take classes so that they are able to perform and read Electrocardiograms (EKGs) Nurses working in critical care need to learn how to draw venous and arterial blood.
Experienced cardiac nurses who work in critical care units are eligible to sit for the CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certification exam.
Opportunities exist in cardiac nursing , for nurses who have pursued advanced nursing degrees as well.
Job Description & Duties
Cardiovascular nurses work in many types of work settings. They may be employed in hospitals, physician’s offices, and physical therapy facilities.
Employment opportunities abound.
Many cardiovascular nurses work in intensive care units. They may work in general ICUs or in medical or cardiac intensive care units. These nurses provide critical care for patients who have suffered myocardial infarctions or have just had open heart surgery. They provide care to patients who have life threatening arrhythmias. They need to be experts at thinking on their feet. ICU nurses must be adept at mathematics and the use of technology.
Some cardiovascular nurses work in surgery. They provide care to patients having blood vessel bypass grafts, valve replacements, open heart surgery, and even heart transplants.
Another option for a cardiac nurse is to work among a team of therapists rehabilitating patients who have just had serious cardiac illnesses or surgery. The rehabilitation nurse spends a great deal of time educating patients. Education for cardiac patients includes guidance about medications, diet, activity levels, stress management, and smoking cessation.
Many cardiovascular nurses find employment working on hospital areas which have telemetry. Telemetry units are portable devices which monitor patient's heart rhythms. Nurses working on these units must know how to provide care if emergencies arise.
Cardiac nurses comprise emergency response teams in hospitals. If patients go into cardiac or respiratory arrest anyplace within the facility, an emergency is called. Cardiac nurses are part of the team.
Job Outlook and Salary
Cardiac nurses are among the highest paid nurses. They make an excellent base salary. In addition, most facilities pay premiums for the certifications that cardiac nurses are required to possess.
The job market for cardiovascular nurses will continue to grow. As baby boomers age, the prevalence of cardiac health issues continues to rise. Cardiac surgeries are being performed commonly. The need for expert nurses to care for patients during and after surgery is great.
Cardiac nurses initially earn over forty thousand dollars annually. In large cities, a well credentialed experienced nurse may make over ninety thousand dollars annually. While working in a critical care unit.
References and Further Reading
- American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (www.aacvpr.org)
- National Association of Vascular Access Networks (www.navannet.org)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (www.nursecredentialing.org)
- Society for Vascular Nursing (www.svnnet.org)