According to the Centres for Disease Control, heart disease kills more than 659,000 individuals annually in Canada, accounting for one in every four fatalities. Heart disease, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular health problems can be prevented, identified, and treated with the help of cardiac nurses. Cardiac nurses are essential in the battle against heart disease and are required to provide patient care and advocate for good lifestyle choices.
Job Description for a Cardiac Nurse
Electrocardiograms, also known as stress tests and EKGs, are given to individuals who may have heart murmurs, blockages, or other cardiovascular issues by cardiac nurses. Cardiac nurses give medicines, prepare patients for open heart surgery, and monitor their vital signs. They interact with the patient’s family and friends as well as physicians and surgeons on the state of their patients. Cardiac nurses are also educators that work with their local populations to spread the message of maintaining cardiovascular health.
A cardiac nurse specialist’s primary responsibilities and duties
- Treats individuals with illnesses that impact their respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
- Supports diagnostic procedures such as electrocardiograms.
- Informs patients on how to avoid developing heart disease.
- Informs family members of ways to help the patient to practise good habits at home.
- Maintains electronic health records.
- Responds to inquiries from patients on nutrition and activity.
- Assists patients in their recovery from surgery.
- Manages cardiovascular emergencies.
- Offers pre- and post-cardiac surgery patient care.
- Uses equipment to help in cardiovascular disease diagnosis.
- Conducts stress testing.
- Tracks readings from cardiovascular testing devices.
- Dispenses medicine.
- Begin and monitor intravenous drips.
- Adjusts patient therapy following patient reactions.
- Talks to doctors about patients’ illnesses and asks them questions.
- Executes the directives of cardiologists.
- Uses defibrillators in emergencies.
- Making diagnoses of patients’ cardiac diseases.
- Works under the direction of a cardiologist, a doctor who focuses on treating heart conditions.
- Performs patient examinations in a hospital emergency department.
- Attends continuing education classes to keep current on emerging practices, technology, and pharmaceuticals.
- Complies with regulations governing patient privacy.
- Alerts nurses working different shifts to any particular situations affecting patients.
- Teach nursing interns and students.
Criteria for Cardiac Nurse Education
Registered nurses must work as cardiac nurses. RNs have completed a four-year bachelor’s or two-year associate’s degree programme in nursing and a national licensure examination. The Canadian Nurses Credentialing Centre offers a Cardiac Nursing Certification to RNs who have completed cardiovascular care training. RNs must have at least two years of nursing experience, 2,000 hours of cardiovascular nursing clinical training, 30 hours of continuing education, and pass the Cardiac Care Nursing Certification Exam to become certified.
Some nurses could complete their education to become nurse practitioners and focus on cardiology. According to the Canadian Association of Nurse Practitioners, a cardiac nurse practitioner may serve as the patient’s primary care physician. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, to become a nurse practitioner, one must first become a registered nurse, complete at least a master’s degree in an area of advanced practice nursing, pass a professional test, and then obtain a licence from the state where one wishes to work.
Earning Potential for Cardiac Nurses
The Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that as of May 2020, the median pay for registered nurses was $75,330. In other words, half of all registered nurses made more money than this, while the other half made less. The 10 per cent of earnings at the top of the income scale made more than $116,230, while those at the lowest made less than $53,410.
Salary expectations for cardiology nurse practitioners are much higher: They received a median annual pay of $ 120,680, per the BLS, as of May 2021.
Jobs for Cardiac Nurses are growing
Between 2010 and 2020, registered nurses’ employment is expected to grow by 26%, according to the BLS. As of 2012, one person in Canada died from heart disease per minute, according to the Centres for Disease Control. By teaching patients before they get unwell, cardiac nurses, physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals may improve heart health and lessen the costly burden that heart disease places on our nation.
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