What is Cath Lab Technician?
A catheterization laboratory, or cath lab, technician is a professional who works in the field of cardiovascular technology. Cath lab technicians are vital team members who assist doctors during invasive cardiovascular procedures such as angioplasty, cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology.
- Cardiovascular technologists spend most of their working time in operating rooms. Although many of the procedures they assist with have become routine, these technologists work in high stress situations due to the fact that should complications arise, the patient can be quickly placed in a life-threatening position.
- Prior to surgery, the technologist is responsible for ensuring the EKG equipment is in working order, and during the procedure, the technologist will monitor the EKG readouts and keep the doctor apprised of anything considered abnormal. The technologist will also prepare the patient for the procedure by cleaning, shaving, and, in the case of cardiac catheterization for angioplasty, anesthetizing the area of insertion.
- In some hospitals, the cardiovascular technologist will assist doctors during open heart surgery, and with the insertion of pacemakers or stents. Again, the technologist will be the one responsible for preparing and monitoring the patient in these instances.
- Daily non-surgical duties include reading and interpreting test procedures and explaining the procedures to patients. Cardiovascular technologists are exposed to a minor level of radiation in the course of some procedures, but the levels are closely monitored and protected against. During surgical procedures, they spend a great deal of time standing and may be required to help lift and transfer patients.
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