Our Team Vision
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 achieving MagnetTM Designation in 2005, a feat achieved by less than 6% of hospitals nationwide and re-designation in 2009 and 2014 (applied) attained by only 3% percent of hospitals.
There is 24/7 coverage by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who manage patient care in collaboration with Attending physicians. Nursing care is delivered utilizing nursing ratios dependent on patient acuity. Nurses receive specialized and continuing education for patients from birth to adult in the following areas: pre and post-operative cardiac care, cardiac, and heart and lung transplant. Many staff hold CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) and pediatric certifications. Nursing, respiratory therapists, social workers, patient care assistants, and other allied health professionals provide a variety of specialized clinical services to provide comprehensive patient care and help improve outcomes.
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 assisting patients to resume 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, telemetry technicians, respiratory therapists and other allied health professionals to compliment nursing services.
Eight 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 six Cardiovascular Perfusionists who provide circulatory assistance through management of the heart-lung bypass, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or ventricular assist device (VAD) 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 Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to prepare for patient transfer.
The Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology (EP) Suites are staffed by Interventional Cardiologists and Electrophysiologists, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), certified Registered Nurses (RN), Registered Radiation Technologists (RT), Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialists (RCIS), and Certified Electrophysiology Specialists (CEPS). Two of the three Interventional Cardiology Nurse Practitioners APRN hold a PhD degree and independently conduct clinical research. The role of the Interventional Cardiology Nurse Practitioner includes independent management of interventional cardiology patients, cardiac catheterization, first assist for all interventions, as well as experience with innovative technology for transcatheter devices, transcatheter heart valves, and FDA sponsored clinical trials.
The EP APRN is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who collaborates with Electrophysiologists to manage patients with heart rhythm abnormalities. The Nurse Practitioners and CNS work collaboratively with the Interventional Cardiologist or Electrophysiologist in the management of all patients with congenital heart disease and/or patients with heart rhythm abnormalities. This includes complete assessment and management, both in-patient and in the out-patient ambulatory setting, as well as patient and family education for all congenital and structural heart disease lesions, and treatment options.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) work in collaboration with a team of dedicated, Heart Center Cardiac Anesthesiologists providing 24/7 coverage for all cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology procedures. The anesthesia team provides sedation or anesthesia, airway management, and continuous monitoring to ensure patient safety and comfort throughout the procedures. Advanced imaging is also performed during select procedures including: 3D Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE), Intracardiac Echocardiogram (ICE), Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS), 3D Rotational Angiography (3DRA), 3D EP mapping. In addition, radiation safety is a major initiative of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Catheterization and EP services. Fluoroscopy record, dose tracking system, and spot fluoroscopy are all advanced technologies to lower the radiation exposure for all patients and staff that work in the suites.
Together, the entire team provides the highest quality, comprehensive care for interventional cardiac catheterization, and electrophysiology and pacing procedures to all patients with congenital or structural heart disease, regardless of age. Following the procedure, members of the team, at all levels, communicate with the inpatient units to facilitate the transition to the post anesthesia care unit (PACU), cardiology unit (H4A) or to the cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU).