Volume 12 - Issue 6 - June, 2004

Welcome to the team

It is two o’clock in the morning when your pager goes off. The sound of this obnoxious device awakens you from warmth of your bed. You fight the darkness, trying to put your thoughts together to partake in the normally simple task of dialing the phone. The hospital operator informs you that there is an acute MI in the ER that the cardiologist wants to cath emergently. As your heart races from the adrenaline that starts circulating and from being suddenly awakened, you manage to get dressed, get into your car, and drive yourself to the hospital within 30 minutes. As you enter the cath la

Cardiovascular Technology Student Passes a Big Test

Michael Savage is a first-year student in the Cardiovascular Technology Program at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California. On October 17, 2003, one day after his 54th birthday, he was at home alone studying for an exam. The exam was to cover the anatomy and physiology of the coronary arteries and the signs and symptoms of myocardial infarction.

At approximately 5:00 pm, Michael experienced a sudden onset of pain that was localized to his left shoulder. The pain was very sharp in nature and slowly increased in severity. Mike was thinking, I can’t be having a heart attack wh

Readers comment on the May Cath Lab Digest Email Discussion Group Question:


There is some controversy over the role(s) available in the cath lab for different credentials and just to what extent they can and should be cross-trained. What do you feel are the proper role(s) or responsibilities for RNs, RCISs, and RT(R)s in the cath lab? What about other credentials like physician assistants (PAs)?

CVT Program is valuable

I am currently in school for a CVT program and I think what has been taught through the school is more beneficial than being trained on the job. With the CVT program, you learn about diagnosing and more preventio

Professionalism, Redefined?

Those of us who have been in the cath lab setting for the past 15 years or more have witnessed dramatic changes, the majority of which are for the better, but some of which we may not be too sure. However, there are certainly many positive developments which have resulted in an improved work environment, such as streamlined operations, identification and definition of specific accountabilities and responsibilities, and a redefining of the team concept. Positive changes have also occurred in imaging technology, as well as with device improvements, such as drug-eluting stents and plaque abl

Cath Laughs

This image was taken by Dr. Jason H Rogers, Assistant Clinical Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine; University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, California.

Sent in by:
Jane Eymer RN, BSN, Clinical Resource Nurse
Cardiac Cath Lab, UCDMedical Center
Sacramento, California

Cath Lab Digest and ASOCC

I am honored to acknowledge all Cath Lab Digest Annual Symposium on Cardiovascular Care (ASOCC) attendees in Orlando, Florida, June 3-5. Thank you for attending ASOCC! The Cath Lab Digest Annual Symposium provides a chance to learn, network and ask questions of the experts our engaging, experienced faculty and your fellow professionals, who just may have the hands-on knowledge you’re looking for. ASOCC attendees also received a unique bumper sticker:

If you weren’t able to make it to ASOCC this year, I hope to see you in 2005!

This month, Cath Lab Digest serves up the latest in

The Ten-Minute Interview with...Todd Chitwood, RCIS, FSICP

I am a Navy-trained Cardiopulmonary Technologist with 18 years experience in the invasive cardiovascular field. I recently earned my fellowship with the Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP). In 2002, I designed and developed the Oregon Cardiology Diagnostic Center, a physician-owned freestanding cardiac cath lab located in Eugene, Oregon. I am currently the manager of this facility.

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

I attended the Navy's CPT (Cardiopulmonary Technologist) School in the mid-80's. I was fortunate to be trai