Society of Invasive Cardiovascular Professionals (SICP) Chapter Spotlight: Emerald Coast Chapter The Emerald Coast Chapter (ECC), located in northwest Florida, was established in April 2005. Most ECC founding members continue to work in northwest Florida and remain members of the Chapter. The Chapter has 45 members who regularly attend meetings. The ECC focuses on bringing together cardiovascular professionals and providing educational opportunities. All hospitals and cath labs in the local area are involved in the chapter and supportive of their employees’ involvement. It is extremely important to the Chapter that these professionals connect to discuss issues and develop relationships. While SICP membership is not required to attend an ECC meeting, it is encouraged. You must have an SICP membership to be a member of the Chapter. The ECC has nine professionals who hold the registered cardiovascular invasive specialist (RCIS) credential and the Chapter continues to educate and promote the need for credentialing. The ECC enjoys having exceptional member turnouts at chapter meetings and events. It was formed to satisfy a need for personal and professional networking among cardiovascular professionals in the area, and the initial meeting had a phenomenal response. Baptist Hospital had 100% enrollment, an awesome accomplishment. The Chapter is inclusive and invites other cardiovascular professionals to attend meetings. Review courses and meetings remain open to every cardiovascular professional. Professionals who work in special procedures/interventional radiology often attend Chapter meetings and the RCIS Review Courses. The ECC believes the economic state of the nation has affected the profession in the Emerald Coast area. It is also reflected in the number of cases seen throughout the area. Although the chapter hospitals may allow education days for their cath lab employees, they are no longer paying for employees to attend conferences and review courses. The Chapter supports the professional development and education of cardiovascular professionals by providing continuing education for an economical price. While the ECC cath, electrophysiology and peripheral vendors have graciously supported meetings and RCIS Review Courses, it continues to be challenging for the ECC to finance the educational offerings and chapter events. While there are many struggles, there are also many successes. The ECC has brought educational opportunities to the area, such as the SICP’s Signature RCIS Review Course, hosted in July 2005, and the Chapter will host another in April 2009. The ECC has also provided open forums with physicians to discuss their thoughts and what they expect from the staff in the cardiovascular lab. The ECC aims to provide educational opportunities that are pertinent, relevant and to the point for its members. With everyone having both busy personal and professional lives, it is crucial to stick to important issues. There is also a strong need to keep up-to-date on new equipment and on issues that affect everyone professionally. Sebrena Palmer is currently the SICP Advocacy Committee Representative for the ECC Chapter. Advocacy issues vary from facility to facility, and also city to city. In northwest Florida, the role of a nurse is limited to RNs, and everyone may be trained to scrub, circulate, and monitor. Under the direction of the physician, all staff may operate the equipment required during the procedure. Only the RN may sedate the patient, with the exception of the patient requiring anesthesia services. Most local hospitals do not limit equipment operation and x-ray to a radiologic technologist [RT(R)]. The Florida Radiology law allows for exemption in the cath lab while working in the presence of the physician. The ECC recognizes the scope of practice of the RCIS. It is important that the public be aware that the professionals working with the physician have received appropriate education and the necessary cardiovascular and radiologic training. These professionals truly love and enjoy what they do for their communities, patients and themselves. Working in the cath lab is one of the only professions providing instant gratification from the moment a vessel is open and a patient says “thank you” for saving their life. The ECC would like to see the SICP provide more educational grants to its members and continue to give its members a voice in developing procedures and new standards in the cath lab. It is vital to continue offering roles for volunteers to serve on a national and local level. The Emerald Coast Chapter offers local cardiovascular professionals the opportunity to participate as little or as much as the individual wishes. It is the Chapter’s goal to offer support, not become a burden to members with a mandatory attendance requirement or any local dues. Chapters continue to be an important part of the SICP’s development and growth. If you are part of a chapter and would like more information on how to move your chapter to the next level, or if you have a very successful chapter and have ideas to share, please contact SICP staff assistant Tracy Pratt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. If you are interested in starting a chapter, you may also contact Tracy for the chapter manual.