Cardiac nurse specialist job description

Written by charles pearson
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Cardiac nurse specialist job description
Cardiac nurse specialists aid doctors in treating heart patients. (Nurse in Scrubs image by Mary Beth Granger from Fotolia.com)

Registered nurses have a lot of specialised fields. Nearly every part of the human body has a nurse who focuses on treating and optimising that organ. For the heart---one of the most important organs in the human body---the health care industry has the cardiac nurse specialist. These nurses help patients with heart conditions recover and they provide patients with education about healthy heart practices.

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Function

Patients who have had coronary heart disease or congestive heart failure usually undergo heart surgery and then receive postoperative rehabilitation with the aid of a cardiac nurse specialist. These specialists also help patients recover from angina. Like most nurses, the focus of the cardiac nurse specialist is not only to treat the heart but to also provide emotional support and education for the patient and the patient's family. Most of the questions that the patient has is answered by the nurse and the patient's heart medicine intake and vital signs are overseen by the specialist.

Conditions

Most cardiac nurse specialists work in clinics, with many working in critical care units where patients are treated who have had a heart attack. While these environments are usually clean and comfortable, they are also very stressful. Diseases such as congestive heart failure can put a patient's life in jeopardy and nurses have to be ready to respond quickly to changes in the patient's condition. Seeing patients suffer and die can take an emotional toll on the cardiac nurse specialist.

Education

Nurses have to earn a bachelor's degree, associate's degree or a diploma from a hospital training program. Then, they have to be pass the National Council Licensure Examination. After this, in order to become a specialist in cardiac nursing, the registered nurse must receive Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification, which is offered by many colleges and the American College of Cardiovascular Nurses. Then, the nurse must receive certification in cardiac rehabilitation nursing and cardiac vascular nursing. The nurse can then practice as a cardiac nursing specialist.

Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 2.6 million registered nurses held jobs in 2008 in the United States. Between 2008 and 2018, the need for registered nurses was expected to grow 22 per cent. Cardiac nurse specialists can expect increased demand as the majority of the U.S. population will be ageing, which is a population that often has heart problems.

Salary

The median earnings for registered nurses in 2008 was £40,592, according to the BLS. The highest 10 per cent earned more than £59,956, the lowest 10 per cent earned less than £28,216. Additionally, clinics usually provide childcare, money for further education and bonuses.

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