Why did you choose to work in the invasive cardiology field?
I had previously worked in respiratory therapy and this stimulated my interest.
Can you describe your role in the CV lab?
I do not presently work in the cath lab, but I am the Program Director, Cardiovascular Technology and Echocardiography Programs at St. Cloud Technical College.
What is the biggest challenge you see regarding your role as Program Director?
Creating the realism in the simulated cath lab at the college.
What motivates you in your current position?
The ability to impart knowledge to the students in the programs.
What is the most bizarre case you have ever been involved with?
1. The patient that did not lose consciousness while in cardiac arrest.
2. The defibrillator not working, and having the patient do cough CPR while we ran to get another defibrillator. The patient maintained 100 mmHg pressure with cough CPR.
When work gets stressful and you experience low moments (as we all do), what do you do to help keep your morale high?
My wife and I go to spend time with our grandkids.
Are you involved with the SICP or other cardiovascular societies?
I belong to SICP and ACP, maintain active status in Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), and I am a Fellow in SICP. I am one of the presenters for the SICP Registry Review Courses.
Are there websites or texts that you would recommend to other CV labs?
There are numerous websites to explore; in fact, I assign my students in the first semester to go out on the web and explore. The textbooks I would recommend for all labs to have in their libraries are the books listed in the bibliography for the RCIS exam. I still think that Netter's The Heart is the best for C/V A & P, patholgy, embrologic development and congenital cardiac defects.
Do you remember participating in your first invasive procedure?
I do remember being rather overwhelmed, but at that time, there were only diagnostic cases. Mostly all of the equipment on the field was non-disposable: manifolds, glass syringes, etc. The pressure transducers were also non-disposable. The monitor system was an E for M, DR8. You recorded all pressures on to photographic paper, collected in a light-proof box, removed the paper in the darkroom, and processed it through an x-ray developer. There was nothing worse then having to explain to the cardiologist what happened to the pressure recordings when the system did not work.
If you could send a message back to yourself at the beginning of your CV lab career, what advice would you give?
Always be a teacher. When a person is observing in the lab, whoever they are, take the time to explain what is going on throughout the procedure.
Where do you hope to be in your career when it is time to retire?
I plan to continue in my present position until retirement.
Where do you think the invasive cardiology field is headed in the future?
Those of us who have been around long enough to see CVT and echo split into two separate programs can probably see that invasive cardiovascular and electrophysiology will follow the same path. Five or ten years from now, they will be separate educational programs.
Pat McGuire can be contacted at pmcguire (at) sctc. edu