The Ten-Minute Interview with Charles C. Barbiere, RN, CCRN, RCIS, CCT, CRT, EMT, FSICP

Why did you choose to work in the invasive cardiology field?

I was employed as a staff nurse in the MICU and was approached in 1987 by the Medical Director of the Cath Lab. He asked if I would be interested in transferring to the cath lab and helping develop the new angioplasty program. I have always had an interest in the technical aspects of health care and after observing several cases, made the decision to transfer. I have never regretted the decision; indeed, it has facilitated my career and professional interest over the years. I started in health care in the pre-hospital arena and have always taken positions where competence is a must, and the pace is fast, changing, and challenging. I have also wanted to be in a position where my decisions made a difference in patient outcomes and where my opinions are respected. I found that a position in the cath lab met my requirements.

What is the most unusual case you have been involved in?

I was scrubbed in on a diagnostic case in a bi-plane room that had just been installed (the fourth case in the new room). When I went to rotate the AP tube from a RAO to a LAO, it just kept going, barely missed the circulator, and crashed into the lateral tube. A link had failed on the chain of the mechanism linking the arm and motor. In addition, two safety mechanisms also failed, allowing the arm to fall. The case was completed with one staff holding the AP arm upright and the lateral tube was used to image the remainder of the procedure.

Where do you see yourself professionally when it comes time to retire?

My plans call for retirement no later than fifty-five but hopefully by fifty-three. I will always be active in health care in some capacity; I tend to migrate to places or places where I can make the greatest impact. I have been assisting invasive professionals in Thailand for some ten years and may move there to advise and participate more closely in setting up their missing part of the professional triad, educational programs.

Why did you choose to get involved with the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP)?

I have been involved with the SICP since its inception. Members of the SCA&I recognized that it requires a highly trained team to care for patients undergoing diagnostic and invasive procedures. What they envisioned was a professional society whose membership consisted of non-physician staff to complement their interest in providing leadership, quality care to patients, and education to their members. They requested their members to approach non-physician members of their laboratory staff and inquire if they would be interested in developing this new society. I was approached, said yes, and have served as a member of the Steering Committee, as President Elect, Editor, and President.

Your work for the SICP is volunteer. What motivates you to continue?

One of components of professionalism is recognizing your personal responsibility to contribute to your chosen profession. I feel that what is most rewarding is to serve as an active member of the society that represents your profession. With active participation, you have opportunities to grow personally and professionally by accepting tasks and roles for the society that require you to develop new skills. You develop a network of colleagues who you can call upon for consultation with problems or to work on projects. The world becomes larger and as you realize that there are many ways of approaching similar problems, yet it also becomes smaller as you realize we all share and are seeking solutions to the same problems. As a member of the SICP, you have an opportunity to share your solutions and get insight from others.

What is the biggest challenge you see regarding your role in the SICP?

The challenge is to stay engaged, be a team player, be supportive of decisions, and provide advice when requested. For the SICP, the biggest challenge will be to stay focused on the patient, how to deliver quality care and improve the quality of care. To do that, the SICP needs to continue to provide leadership and quality educational and growth opportunities to its members. Maintaining professional, collaborative associations with other professional societies is essential in ensuring that the goal of a professional team is what is required to deliver the best possible care.

If you could send a message back to yourself at the beginning of your cath lab career, what advice would you give?

Trust your decisions, take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, and learn all that you can.

Are there any web sites or texts you would recommend to other labs?

If you are publishing or writing policies, order a copy of Stedman’s medical spell checker:

The American College of Cardiology for scientific and policy statements:

The Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions for Scientific, policy statements and guidelines:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

What changes do you think will occur in the field of cardiology in the coming decade?

Cath labs will treat more morbid patients due to continuing advances in medical therapy. Patients will be unstable with medically refractory ischemia and multi-vessel, multi-lesion disease. Staff in the labs will need ICU skills in addition to the skills required for the cath lab. The management of congestive heart failure will continue to advance and if the assistive devices become small enough, implantation may occur in the cath lab.


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