Clinical Services Team
The Heart Center Clinical Services Team is a highly specialized group of nursing and allied health professionals. We are the constant presence for the patient and family during the diagnosis and treatment for heart disease and significantly contribute to excellent outcomes. We also contribute to Nationwide Children's Hospital status as a leading institution by helping the hospital achieve Magnet Designation in 2005, a feat achieved by less than 6% of hospitals nationwide. In 2009, the hospital was re-designated as a Magnet Institution, which is achieved by less than 2% of hospitals.
Areas of Practice
There is 24/7 coverage by advanced practice nurses who manage patient care in collaboration with attending physicians. Nursing care is delivered utilizing one nurse to 1-2 patients ratio, or 2 nurses for on patient, dependent upon acuity. Nurses have specialized and continuing education in pre and post operative cardiac care, heart, heart and lung, and lung transplant. Many hold CCRN and pediatric certification. Nursing, respiratory therapists, social workers, patient care assistants, and other allied health professionals provide a variety of specialized clinical services to further patient care and help improve outcomes.
Inpatient Cardiac Specialty Unit
Nursing care is delivered utilizing one nurse to 3-4 patient ratio. Nurses have specialized training, and are experts at patient teaching, discharge planning, and resuming normal activities. All nurses have advanced life support certification, and over half hold pediatric nursing certification. Nurse practitioners and nurse clinicians ensure continuity of care for patients. In addition, the unit utilizes social workers, patient care assistants, monitor technicians, respiratory therapists and other allied health professionals to compliment nursing services.
Seven dedicated Cardiothoracic OR nurses are dedicated to the cardiac OR’s, and provide 24/7 coverage for any cardiac or thoracic surgery. Four of these nurses hold certification as RNFA, (first assistants) and directly assist the surgeon at the OR table. Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) work with the team of dedicated Cardiac Anesthesiologists to induce and maintain anesthesia. There are five Cardiovascular Perfusionists who provide circulatory assistance through management of the heart-lung bypass, extracorporeal membrance oxygenation (ECMO), or ventricular assist devices (VAD’s) machines before, during, or after open-heart surgeries. Together all of the staff provide continuous monitoring to provide and ensure patient safety throughout the procedures. All members of the team complete required documentation and communicate with the CTICU to prepare for patient transfer.
Cardiac Catheterization Lab
One APN holds first assist certification, and directly assists the interventional cardiologist during the procedure. The staff educate patient and family pre and post procedure, monitor, document, and ensure patient safety and comfort during the procedure, monitor radiation generating equipment to protect both patients and staff, and communicate with the inpatient units to ease the patient’s transition to post-procedural care.
Cardiac Outpatient and Non Invasive Diagnostics Service
Nurses collaborate with cardiac sonographers, exercise physiologists, EKG technicians and other allied health members in the outpatient setting to provide advanced diagnostic services. Nurses participate in patient assessment, including initial and intercurrent history, and ensure accurate medication reconciliation. They are instrumental in patient teaching, and in preparing and comforting the patient during diagnostic procedures. Specialty APN’s and nurse clinicians perform assessments during outpatient visits, including Adult CHD and transplant patients. Development of nurse run specialty clinics, including marfan’s, Kawasaki, and pacemaker clinics are underway.