An electrophysiology nurse is a highly specialized medic who works with other professionals in a cardiology lab to perform diagnostics and interventional procedures to patients who have electrical conduction problems. Electrophysiology is a highly technical area that requires individuals who possess advanced skills and adequate training to offer critical care to patients.
Responsibilities of Electrophysiology Nurses
- Explain to patients the processes and procedures involved in electrophysiology
- Provide answers to any questions patients might have
- Watch over patients and notify physicians for any problems that might develop
- Sedate patients before an electrophysiology procedure
- Perform circulating functions and scrub patients for surgical placement of pacemakers and defibrillators
- Evaluate defibrillators and pacemakers during and after procedures
- Administer drugs to patients
The field of electrophysiology requires people who can work under intense pressure to deliver the desired results. This is very important because most of the electrophysiology procedures are done under emergency conditions. A high level of decision-making skills and autonomy is also critical for this position. Electrophysiology nurses must be people who can make quick decisions to offer solutions to any problems that might arise before, during and after a cardiac procedure.
How to Become an Electrophysiology Nurse
Everyone who wants to work in an electrophysiology cardiac department as a nurse must have at least an Registered Nurse (RN) credential. There are two education pathways that can lead to this credential. One involves pursuing an Associate of Science in Nursing while the other involves pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Both of these degrees must be from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The Associate of Science in Nursing takes two years to complete while the Bachelor of Science in Nursing takes four years. These degrees feature topics such as human anatomy, community health, cell biology, patient care management and critical care.
Upon completing an Associate of Science in Nursing program or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, you can apply for an RN credential. In order to obtain this credential, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The exam determines if you have what it takes to practice safely as an entry-level nurse. It tests whether you can use critical thinking skills to make good nursing judgments.
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The RN credential will provide you with the right platform you need to work in electrophysiology. You need to work in departments that expose you to cardiology care and treatment so that you get relevant experience. The cardiac or emergency department will be a good starting point. You will also need to enroll in a cardiovascular electrophysiology training program to prepare you well for the job ahead. The program may feature topics such as cardiac anatomy, diagnostics EP study, atrial flutter and AV node ablation.
An RN with electrophysiology skills makes $30.67 per hour, according to PayScale. This translates to $83,793 per annum. The salary depends on the level of experience and location. States such as New York, Nevada and Massachusetts tend to pay their nurses more than other states.
Electrophysiology is a cardiology field that deals with the electrical conduction problems of the heart. It is a highly specialized area that requires technical expertise and an in-depth knowledge of the electrical conduction activities of the heart. As an electrophysiology nurse, you will be required to offer critical care to patients before, during and after electorphysiology procedures.