The Ten-Minute Interview with: Martine Kinman, RN, RCIS
- Posted on: 6/19/08
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Why did you choose to work in the invasive cardiology field?
I wanted to work in a critical care environment, and as an LPN, options were limited. The cath lab was as close as I could get to doing critical care. I started in the invasive vascular part of the lab, and when I returned from working one year in open heart surgery, I worked in the electrophysiology lab. I left the cath lab environment for a second time to be a pacemaker nurse for a cardiology group, and returned a year later to be the same cath lab's clinical educator.
Can you describe your role in the cath lab?
I function as the clinical educator and facilitate educational needs for new and current staff. I have done this for four years now and have seen a wide range of experience. I have seen people come with no clinical experience at all to people with vast amount of experience. It is probably the challenge of assessing what learning needs each individual has that keeps my job interesting.
What is the biggest challenge you see regarding your role in the cath lab?
The biggest challenge is to maintain staff's competency in multiple types of equipment that are used infrequently.
What motivates you to continue working in the cath lab?
I have left the cardiac cath area twice and have returned twice. Needless to say, I love the environment: the impact you can make in someone's care in just a short amount of time, the intensity of always having to anticipate complications and the working relationship with other staff and physicians.
What is the most bizarre case you have ever been involved with?
We had a patient where every time we inflated the angioplasty balloon, he would start hiccupping. The patient had never experienced anginal-type symptoms, but said he had been hiccupping a lot.
When work gets stressful and you experience low moments (as we all do), what do you do to help keep your morale high?
Then I know it is time to take some vacation! I have learned that I do need to take time off regularly. I thrive on being an optimist, and when I find myself down in spirit, I take a step back and look at myself.
Are you involved with the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP) or other cardiovascular societies?
Yes. It all started with wanting to arrange a review course for the RCIS exam and, although I never did arrange that review course, it lead me down the path of chartering the Indiana Chapter of the SICP. It definitely had its challenging times but all the hard work is starting to pay off. Each meeting has had better attendance than the previous one.
Are there websites or texts that you would recommend?
For new staff to the cath lab, I highly recommend Invasive Cardiology: a Manual for Cath Lab Personnel, by Sandy Watson and Ken Gorski. I was never so happy to see a book specifically geared towards cath lab staff.
Do you remember participating in your first invasive procedure?
I do remember being overwhelmed. It is important to remember our own first experience, because we get so comfortable in our environment and skills become so easy that we might set expectations too high for new staff.
If you could send a message back to yourself at the beginning of your cath lab career, what advice would you give?
It would not be so much advice, because I would not do anything different, but I would forewarn myself: YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT!
Where do you hope to be in your career when it is time to retire?
I hope to have had an impact on the cardiovascular profession on a national level, whether it is education, technology or both. I am currently working on a computer degree with the intention of utilizing that knowledge and my past experiences towards our profession. Although this is only one of many directions I could pursue, I would love to get the ball rolling in starting a CVT school in Indiana the demand is definitely going to be there!
Has anyone in particular been helpful to you in your growth as a cardiovascular professional?
Of course there has been an array of people, but related to cath lab, I must say it was my preceptor, Deb Miller. She was a wealth of knowledge and always remained calm even when things went wrong. I want to be just like her when I grow up!
Where do you think the invasive cardiology field is headed in the future?
I don't think we will be out of a job any time soon, despite the evolution of non-invasive diagnostic testing. We will be seeing more interventional procedures as an alternative to surgical approaches.