Heart diseases are a leading cause of fatalities all over the world. The people from the medical fraternity reiterate repeatedly that it is extremely important to care for the heart and cardiovascular system. Given the importance of a healthy heart, it comes off as no surprise that there are healthcare professionals of all kinds specializing in cardiac healthcare. If we talk about nurses in particular the cardiac nurses are responsible for treating and caring for patients with a wide range of heart diseases after completing their nursing education. In case you wish to become a cardiac nurse then are some things that you must know.
Who is a Cardiac Nurse?
A cardiac nurse is a professional who is responsible for treating patients who are suffering from heart conditions. This includes patients who are suffering from coronary artery diseases, congestive heart failure, recovering from angioplasty, bypass surgery, etc. After the completion of a suitable nursing course in Canada, a cardiac nurse is trained to monitor the hearts of patients of all ages and administer heart medications. In addition, they may also perform stress test evaluations or care for the most urgent heart diseases such as assisting in processes like defibrillation. A cardiac nurse works very closely with a cardiologist for facilitating quality health care services for heart patients.
Job Role of a Cardiac Nurse:
The cardiac nurses are also called cardiovascular nurses. In addition to all the roles that they play every day, cardiac nurses are also responsible for educating their patients in heart disease management and its prevention. For this reason, they have to be good communicators who can state effective rehabilitative and preventive measures to be taken for the patients. The job role played by a cardiac nurse includes:
- The cardiac nurses have to work with patients for reducing the risks of patients who are suffering from heart diseases. They have to develop plans for preventing future heart problems while providing rehabilitation services for those recovering from heart surgery.
- Cardiac nursing includes working closely with the cardiologists for helping patients with a detailed assessment of the current risks faced by a patient. The cardiac nurses help their patients set objectives for their health and they also offer required assistance along with important lifestyle changes.
- A cardiac nurse is supposed to care for patients who have a wide range of heart-related conditions including myocardial infarction, cardiac dysrhythmia, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, unstable angina, etc. It must be noted that cardiac nurses provide these services under the supervision of a cardiologist.
- In sum, cardiac nurses offer ongoing healthcare to patients such as administering medications and performing health assessments. This also includes offering post-op care to patients who are recovering from heart surgeries. Even pain management during the post-op phase is an important part of the job done by cardiac nurses. They are supposed to help patients manage any discomfort from heart issues.
Skills Needed to Become a Cardiac Nurse:
The daily tasks managed by cardiac nurses might vary based on the work setting that they are in. The cardiac nurses may work in different types of environments such as coronary care, cardiac catheterization, operating theatres, clinical research, intensive care units, cardiac surgery wards, etc. For example, if the cardiac nurse works in an operating theatre or a cardiac surgery ward then there might be a need to perform postoperative care on a surgical unit along with cardiac monitoring, vascular monitoring, health assessments, etc. These are all responsibilities that require cardiac nurses to possess specialized skills. Even though the nurses are trained in many skills as they complete their nursing study in Canada, the learning never stops even after they get a job. This is because, with new medical advances, the nurses are taught new techniques which they have to perfect while dispensing care. That said, if someone wants to excel as a cardiac nurse then there is a blend of skills and soft skills that one needs. We will categorize them below:
- Hard Skills: Patient care, advanced cardiac life support, acute care, catheterization laboratory, telemetry, life support, treatment planning, etc.
- Soft Skills: Communication, planning, teamwork, research, physical ability, computer knowledge, problem-solving aptitude, time management, critical thinking, etc.
Completing a registered nursing program in coronary care nursing can help a nurse learn and develop the skills needed to offer healthcare services to cardiac patients.
Becoming a Cardiac Nurse:
Before choosing the education route, it is necessary to remember that the healthcare facilities also tend to give employment preferences to the nurses who have received an in-depth nursing education from renowned colleges in Canada. After completing a nursing degree, the graduates must also pass the NCLEX-RN examination to become registered nurses. The RNs who wish to become successful as cardiac nurses must also gain hands-on experience. There are also some certifications that cardiac nurses can receive for building on the solid foundation of Canadian RN registration and clinical experience. With certifications, the candidature of a nurse can improve and better career opportunities can come. The certifications also help the nurses to stay current with their specialized knowledge and skills while having a trademark credential that validates competency.
Career Advancement in Cardiac Nursing:
As mentioned above, getting certifications can lead you deep into mastering the cardiovascular specialty. In case you decide to further on even in your specialty then there is also an option to become an advanced practice registered nurse. As a cardiac nurse practitioner, you will be assessing patients, educating them and their families about chronic diseases, analyzing lab works or radiology results, and creating treatment plans. As a cardiac nurse practitioner, you can also work in a private practice cardiology setting where you can guide patients independently. In case the nurse practitioner pathway is not for you then there are other advancement options as well. The cardiac nurses who are higher performers and have suitable experience can get into nursing leadership and management positions as well. In the leadership and management roles, the cardiac nurses are responsible for training, direction, and oversight of a team of a cardiovascular nurses.
The field of cardiac nursing has a great deal of promise for nurses who wish to help patients suffering from heart-related illnesses. Also, there is a great need for specialized cardiac nurses. Hence, in case you have decided to become a cardiac nurse then you have made a great career decision. After completing a suitable nursing program, you will be working in a great professional environment for assisting patients who need your support in leading a heart-healthy life.