Are you a cath lab nurse looking for adventure? Do you crave life on the road? Are you hoping to share your mad nursing skills with people from all over?
Cath lab travel nurse positions are hotter than ever, and hospitals are looking for fearless nurses just like you.
In this post, we’ll cover the ins and outs of life as a cath lab travel nurse, such as:
- What to expect
- Where you can go
- How much you’ll get paid; and
- How soon you can apply
Table of Contents
- Is It Possible to Be a Cath Lab Travel Nurse?
- What Does a Cath Lab Travel Nurse Do?
- Are Cath Lab Travel Nurses in High Demand?
- What Are the Requirements to Become a Cath Lab Travel Nurse?
- How Much Do Cath Lab Travel Nurses Make?
- The Benefits of Becoming a Cath Lab Travel Nurse
- Start Your Next Nursing Adventure With Trusted Nurse Staffing: Learn More About Our Cath Lab Travel Nurse Jobs
Is It Possible to Be a Cath Lab Travel Nurse?
Absolutely. Not only is it possible, but cath lab travel nurses are highly sought after! Positions are available all over the U.S. for qualified nurses.
Keep reading to learn what it takes to become a cath lab travel nurse. Who knows — you may already possess what it takes to apply to a cath lab travel nurse position today.
What Does a Cath Lab Travel Nurse Do?
First things first, what does a cath lab travel nurse do, exactly?
Working solely with heart defects and disease, cath lab nurses are critical to cardiac care units.
Cardiac Cath Lab (CCL) nurses are specifically trained to perform distinct roles and assist doctors and the medical team with …
- Interventional; and
… procedures on patients with heart conditions.
These procedures may include:
- Stent placements
- Pacemaker implants
- Cutting balloon
- And more
Cath lab travel nurses are also responsible for:
- Updating consent paperwork in the patient’s file
- Pre-procedure patient prep, including sterilization and shaving the catheterization area
- Administering and monitoring patient sedation to moderate levels
- Monitoring patients before and after procedures to ensure no adverse reactions, infections, or side effects
- Providing emergency intervention should a patient experience serious side effects or bleeding from a procedure
- Administering medications as needed
- Keeping the patient’s chart updated with specific procedural information
- Discharge paperwork, including instructions to patients and families about medications, dietary restrictions, and activities post-surgery
- Assisting with administration and organization of other areas of the ward during downtimes
- All other duties as outlined by the cardiac care unit where the CCL nurse is working
Where Do Cath Lab Travel Nurses Typically Work?
Cath lab travel nurses may be assigned to work in independent cardiac care centers and hospitals where catheterizations are performed.
Nurses working in cardiac care centers can expect to work 8-10 hour shifts, whereas hospital cath lab nurses can expect to work rotating 12-hour shifts typical of most hospitals.
Cardiac Care Unit
The primary focus of a CCU is to deliver prompt and specialized care to individuals who are experiencing severe heart-related issues or those who have recently undergone cardiac procedures.
The types of patients typically admitted to a Cardiac Care Unit include:
- Acute Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) Patients: Patients who have suffered a heart attack will require immediate medical intervention and continuous monitoring to manage complications and stabilize their condition.
- Post-Cardiac Surgery Patients: Individuals who have undergone cardiac surgery, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or heart valve replacement, need close monitoring during the critical post-operative phase.
- Severe Heart Failure Patients: These patients with decompensated heart failure, where the heart is unable to pump blood effectively, leading to fluid buildup and organ dysfunction.
- Cardiac Arrhythmias: Patients with life-threatening arrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation, require immediate treatment and continuous monitoring.
- Cardiogenic Shock: This is a severe condition where the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, leading to organ failure. Patients in cardiogenic shock require intensive care.
- Pulmonary Edema: A condition characterized by fluid accumulation in the lungs, often due to heart failure, requires aggressive treatment and close monitoring.
Intensive Care Unit
The ICU is designed to treat patients with life-threatening conditions and those requiring advanced medical interventions and close observation.
Patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit are usually suffering from severe medical conditions that necessitate constant monitoring and support. These conditions may include, but are not limited to:
- Post-Operative Care: Patients who have undergone complex surgeries, especially those involving major organs or critical systems, may require intensive care during the immediate post-operative period.
- Severe Trauma: Patients with critical injuries, such as head trauma, multiple fractures, or significant internal organ damage, often need intensive care and monitoring.
- Respiratory Failure: Individuals who are unable to breathe adequately on their own require mechanical ventilation to support their breathing.
- Severe Infections: Patients with life-threatening infections or sepsis may require close monitoring and aggressive treatment in the ICU.
- Cardiovascular Emergencies: Those experiencing cardiac arrest, severe heart failure, or life-threatening arrhythmias may be admitted to the ICU for immediate interventions.
- Neurological Emergencies: Patients with severe strokes, brain hemorrhages, or other critical neurological conditions may need intensive care and neuro-monitoring.
- Organ Failure: Patients with multi-organ failure, such as acute kidney failure or liver failure, may require intensive support and treatment.
Cardiac Catheterization Unit
The main purpose of a Cardiac Catheterization Unit is to visualize the heart and its blood vessels to assess their condition, identify abnormalities, and provide targeted treatments.
Some of the common procedures carried out in the Cardiac Catheterization Unit include:
- Coronary Angiography: This procedure involves the injection of a contrast dye into the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle. X-ray images are taken to visualize any blockages or narrowing of the arteries, helping to diagnose coronary artery disease.
- Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI): Also known as coronary angioplasty, this procedure is performed during coronary angiography. It involves the use of a balloon-tipped catheter to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. In some cases, a stent may be placed to keep the artery open.
- Cardiac Electrophysiology Studies (EPS): EPS is used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart and diagnose arrhythmias. Special catheters are placed inside the heart to stimulate and record its electrical signals.
- Valvuloplasty: This procedure involves using a balloon catheter to widen a narrowed heart valve, improving blood flow and valve function.
- Closure of Congenital Heart Defects: Some congenital heart defects can be repaired using catheter-based techniques, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery.
- Diagnostic Right Heart Catheterization: This procedure is used to evaluate the function of the right side of the heart and measure pressures within the heart chambers.
Are Cath Lab Travel Nurses in High Demand?
Cath lab nurses are among the most specialized nurses. And as a result, the demand is extremely high. Additionally, the current nursing shortage has caused an increase in demand for specialized nursing positions, such as CCL nurses.
Some factors contributing to the nursing shortage include:
- An aging population
- Fewer specialized nurses
- Reduced enrollment in nursing programs
- An increase in outside opportunities; and
- A strained healthcare system
Now, more than ever, cath lab travel nurses are needed to fill the gaps in the healthcare system.
How Long Are Cath Lab Travel Nurse Assignments?
The average cath lab travel nurse assignment lasts for 13 weeks; however, shorter or longer contracts may be available. It’s common for cath lab nursing contracts to be extended. So if you’re happy in your new environment, you might get to stay a little longer.
With Trusted Nurse Staffing, travel assignments can range from as little as 6 weeks to 52 weeks — and both full-time and part-time positions are available.
The flexibility offered by Trusted Nurse Staffing allows new (and seasoned) cath lab travel nurses the opportunity to settle into a position or stay on the move.
For more information, click below to browse Pronto for cath lab travel nurse jobs in your desired areas.
What Are the Requirements to Become a Cath Lab Travel Nurse?
Travel nurses wishing to apply for cath lab travel nurse positions must meet certain educational and experience requirements to be qualified to work in this position.
First, you must become a registered nurse (ADN or BSN) from an accredited nursing program. The NCLEX-RN exam must be passed by all candidates.
Next, you’ll need to find a major cardiac hospital or trauma hospital in your area. It’s important to build relationships with cardiologists and intensivists to help with the transition to the cath lab.
Once you have your foot in the door, it’s easier to apply for available positions to begin earning experience.
Some hospitals may favor candidates who hold a Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification as well. This can be earned through the ANCC. To qualify, nurses must:
- Hold a current RN license from any state
- Have a minimum of 2 years of nursing experience as an RN
- Have a minimum of 2,000 clinical practice hours within the last 3 years as a cardiac-vascular nurse
- Have completed the 30 hours of CEU (continuing education units) for cardiac-vascular nursing in the last 3 years
After completing the course, nurses must also pass an exam that consists of 175 questions within the allotted time of 3.5 hours.
Additionally, cath lab nurses who have earned a CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certification may be favored by some hospitals.
Depending on the facility, additional certifications and experience may be required.
Once you have the NCLEX-RN completed, you will be able to start your nursing career.
While the requirement to start working a cath lab travel nurse job is generally one year of experience in a cath lab, cardiac care unit, or ICU, some facilities may require up to three years of experience.
Depending on the state you choose, additional requirements may be required for cath lab travel nurse jobs in that state.
Working with the recruiters at Trusted Nurse Staffing can help to make the process of acquiring your first cath lab travel nurse job effortless. We understand the different state requirements and will help you fulfill them so you can land your first cath lab travel nurse job.
How Much Do Cath Lab Travel Nurses Make?
Trusted Nurse Staffing can help you find a cath lab travel nurse job in these top-paying states through Pronto. In addition to helping our nurses land the top cath lab travel nurse salary, Trusted offers great benefits, including:
- Generous housing, meal, and travel stipends
- Customized benefits package
- HRA card to cover healthcare deductibles
- Referral bonus
- Sign-on and completion bonuses
- 401(k) with a 4% match after 1000 hours and one year of employment
- Overtime pay
- Direct deposit
- Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance packages
- Dental and vision packages
- License, certifications, and CEU reimbursements
- A fun loyalty program
The Top Paying Cities in the Country for Cath Lab Travel Nurses
A cath lab travel nurse can earn the most per year in these cities:
- Berkeley, CA – $185,709
- Santa Monica, CA – $182,905
- Merced, CA – $182,389
- Daly City, CA – $179,554
- San Mateo, CA – $178,474
- Irvine, CA – $174,179
- Tacoma, WA – $174,025
- Richmond, CA – $172,728
- Newark, NJ – $172,580
- Bellevue, WA – $172,038
If any of these locations appeal to you, speak to one of our recruiters at Trusted Nurse Staffing.
Don’t see anything you like? Don’t worry. We have cath lab travel nurse positions all over the U.S. Check out the Pronto job search and start browsing jobs today.
The Benefits of Becoming a Cath Lab Travel Nurse
Being a cath lab travel nurse comes with many perks.
Here are a few reasons why travel nursing might be for you:
- You want to travel
- You have that itch to get out and see the country, but finding the time and money can be tough! As a cath lab travel nurse, you’re free to choose between locations and contract lengths. This allows you to see as many places as you want, with travel expenses and salary included.
- High earning potential
- Travel nurses average higher salaries than staff nurses due to increased demand. The shortage of nurses available, whether it’s seasonal or situational, has forced hospitals to incentivize travel nurses by offering attractive salaries.
- Benefits, bonuses, and more
- As a travel nurse, you’ll be privy to sign-on and completion bonuses, a 401k, medical insurance, stipends for travel, housing, food, and so much more.
- Flexibility and freedom
- Because of the higher salary and temporary postings, you’re free to take time off between assignments. Whether that’s to head to your home base for a while or take a vacation, you’re free to choose when and how you want to spend your time off.
- Pad your resume
- The experiences you’ll gain from travel nursing are invaluable. Not only will you get exposure to a variety of healthcare settings, but you’ll gain skills along the way. With Trusted Nurse Staffing, all of your CEU, certifications, and licenses are reimbursed, which means unlimited opportunity for career growth at no expense to you.
Are There Any Downsides to Becoming a Cath Lab Travel Nurse?
We know travel nursing isn’t for everyone. Are you wondering what the possible downsides are?
Here are a few things to consider before you pack your bags:
- Travel nurses may experience homesickness.
- Finding and making new friends may prove challenging.
- The travel logistics might get tiring.
- You may need multiple licenses to travel where you want.
- The best-paying positions may offer less-than-ideal shifts.
The best way to ensure happiness and contentment on the road as a travel nurse is to choose the right agency. The support you receive can make all the difference as to how much enjoyment you get from your experience.
How to Know if a Cath Lab Travel Nurse Job Is Right for You
If you’ve come this far and are convinced that the life of a cath lab travel nurse is for you, have a look at the skills and qualities we think every travel nurse must possess:
- You think fast on your feet.
- You adapt well to high-stress situations.
- You’re comfortable in new surroundings.
- You’re approachable and friendly.
- You show compassion and patience.
- You are highly organized.
If this sounds like you, cath lab travel nursing might be right up your alley.
Start Your Next Nursing Adventure With Trusted Nurse Staffing: Learn More About Our Cath Lab Travel Nurse Jobs
If your passion is caring for patients and their families during the most difficult time in their lives, then cath lab travel nursing may be the best place for you to be.
The best part? You don’t have to go it alone.
Trusted Nurse Staffing is dedicated to providing a supportive and understanding community for our nurses. We offer 24/7 support. So no matter the time or the question, someone will always be here for you.
There’s no better time to be a cath lab travel nurse, so why wait?
Get started by browsing jobs on Pronto — start living your dream today.