Cath Lab Nurse

Assist with procedures in which small tubes are inserted into the heart.
picture of Cath Lab Nurse

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$44,000 – $95,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Cath Lab Nurses do?

Catheters can save lives, especially when they’re inserted into the heart. As painful as it may seem, there’s a reason that these small tubes are jabbed (err, gently inserted) into the heart’s vessels. Well, several actually.

The main reason is to open narrow arteries for increased blood flow. Another reason is to diagnose possible heart conditions. Whatever the reasons, though, the Cath Lab Nurse is always part of the medical team. Cath Lab Nurses aid Doctors in performing this and other procedures.

Sure, there are blood and other bodily fluids involved, but, if you’re a Cath Lab Nurse, you’re used to it. After all, you’re a Registered Nurse. You not only witness, but also help complete procedures like angioplasties, the insertion of pacemakers, and defibrillation.

In addition to understanding and assisting with procedures, your main job is to care for the patient. You gather medical information, update charts, and keep careful records of every treatment the patient receives. Of course, you also squelch fears, offer a comforting hand, and provide medication as necessary.

After you prep the patient, answer questions, clean insertion areas, sterilize the environment, and consult with the Doctor, you may even get to insert the catheter or perform other invasive tasks. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Of course, it’s more than just fun; it’s medicine. So you carefully monitor the patient’s vital signs, make adjustments to the equipment, and train other health care professionals about the procedure.

Should I be a Cath Lab Nurse?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Labor and Delivery Nurse

    How to become a Cath Lab Nurse

    Most Cath Lab Nurses have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:bd9caa&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2864%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2829%25%29|master%27s+%281%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,64
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