What is a Cardiac Care Nurse?

A number of exciting nursing careers can be explored by registered nurses (RN), but a successful cardiac care nurse requires a special certification. Whether you’re still in the process of attaining your certification to become a registered nurse or are an established RN seeking a more challenging career, cardiovascular nursing may be just what you need. In the article below, we’ll discuss a bit more about this professional specialization and why there is a greater call for these specialist nursing professionals in the medical community.

Reading the Signs

Individuals who wish to pursue this specialization must, like all nurses, attain either an Associate or a Bachelor of Science in the field of nursing. They must then attain their certification through the AACN, which provides national accreditation for registered nurses. Once they’ve achieved this, they can seek certification to become a cardiac care nurse via an accredited program. But one may wonder why individuals would take the extra steps to specialize their career.

As the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations age, an increasing number of individuals are diagnosed with cardiac conditions. While we understand more about this vital system than we once did, that knowledge entails an increased need for specialized caregivers to interface with the patients and serve as a liaison between the technical, medical data and plans to maintain patient health. Cardiac care nurses are just the people for that job. Not only do they interface with patients and their families, but they are highly trained to monitor testing machinery and evaluate the results.

Necessary Skills

While you’ll certainly find these nursing specialists in cardiac surgery wards and the ICU, they also work in private practice or in a variety of other clinical settings, according to the Health Care Institute. They are trained, as RNs to assist in surgery, implement basic care procedures, and provide patient care before and after surgery. However, their additional training allows them to assist in specialized operations, such as cardiac catheterization, and to serve in specialized environments, like cardiac rehabilitation centers or specially focused cardiovascular surgery wards and intensive care units.

It’s a truism that one must understand their field deeply in order to communicate with others about it. Cardiology nurses are often called upon to administer and interpret stress tests or other diagnostic measures that gauge the cardiac health of the patient. They must then translate their findings into lay terms that can be readily understood by the patient. Following testing or surgery, they help patients and their families absorb the results, which can sometimes be shocking. Cardiac care nurses are also specially educated to suggest or tailor plans of action and care regimens for patients with cardiac disease or those who have undergone surgical remedies.

Related Resource: What is a Holistic Nurse?

Recent statistics from the CDC indicate that almost 80 million Americans suffer from heart disease and more than 1.5 million heart attacks occur annually. In fact, it’s judged to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. While it’s true that large segments of the population are aging into the range in which these factors become a concern, heart disease is a biological factor that transcends socioeconomic status or ethnic ancestry. The medical profession needs more highly trained cardiac care nurses, not simply to assist with surgery, but to help educate those who suffer from or are at risk for cardiac disease. Our national health depends on it.