What Do You Think?

Can you help your fellow professionals with the following NEW questions? RCIS Acceptance I am currently a traveler and am running into more job openings across the country that are only accepting RTs/ARRTs for tech positions in their labs. I have an AS degree in Cardiopulmonary Technology and my RCIS. Is there some way to improve the job opportunities for the RCIS people? RCIS credentialing is SPECIFIC to the cardiac cath lab. We have to gain better control over the cath lab tech market. How can this be done? Is there some way to promote the RCIS techs? How can we better educate cath labs on our skills/education abilities and improve our job market? Thank you for your time and attention. Frances Sutera, CPT, RCIS Email: fjs412@yahoo.com cc: cathlabdigest@aol.com JCAHO and Temperature Charting With point-of-care testing (ACT), how is everyone dealing with the refrigerator temperature monitor over the weekends? In our lab, we check the temperature of the refrigerator every day and chart, but no one is in the lab over the weekend. Can we just put lab closed and have that be acceptable for JCAHO? We also have meds and our ACT controls in the same refrigerator, but they are separated. Has anyone with the same situation been surveyed by JCAHO, and was there any problems? Thanks! Larry Sneed, BS, RCP Manager, Cath Lab Alamance Regional Medical Center Email: sneelarr@armc.com cc: cathlabdigest@aol.com Share Stats? I work in a single-room diagnostic cath lab in Baltimore, MD, and was wondering if other single-room labs out there could share their number of cases per room, monthly and yearly stats for caths, device implants, EP studies and peripheral cases. We need some numbers to present to administration to help justify new capital investment in space and equipment. Thanks in advance for your time. Dean Warren, RN Email: Dean.Warren@medstar.net cc: cathlabdigest@aol.com Covering Trays Hi, I was wondering if there is any information out there about covering trays while awaiting procedure. We currently have a debate going on about this in our lab and would like to know what others are doing around the nation. Do you set up trays ahead of time, how long until they are torn down if not used. Do you cover them until time of use? Thanks, To-be-covered-or-not-to-be-covered cathlabdigest@hotmail.com At my previous facility, they typically set up trays just before the patient is wheeled into the procedure room (during the day, the patient is being prepped on the table while the tray is still being set up). If trays are set up in advance, they are covered up and dated/timed, and are discarded if not used in 4 hours. Hope that helps. Tim Revell trev_7777@hotmail.com Cervical and Lumbar Damage from Lead Aprons Do you as a cath lab professional suffer from cervical and/or lumbar disc damage? My suspicion is that wearing the lead as often and for as long as we do, that the weight is causing a significant percent of our professionals’ to suffer lifetime damage! Bob Basile bobstero@ptd.net cc: cathlabdigest@aol.com I transferred from the x-ray department to the cardiac cath lab in May 2005. Since I was new and needed the experience, I scrubbed every case I could. That would equal approx. 25 cases per week. Some of the cases were LHCs and were reasonably short, and some of the cases would stretch on for 2 hours or so. After being in the lab for 4 months, a disc ruptured in my cervical spine. It was at the level of C 3-4. I woke with a stiff neck one morning and it progressed into severe pain and radiculopathy in my arm by the end of the day. Even though I had no specific injury, my neurosurgeon was convinced the rupture was caused by the wearing of the lead apron. It wasn’t just the weight of the apron, but the leaning forward and stretching to my left to help hold the wires and catheters. I had my surgery about 6 months ago now, and am back to work full time. Wearing the apron has caused my arm and neck to be painful again, and worse, I am losing the strength again in my arm. My doctor told me I am going to lose function of my arm if I continue in the job. I love my job and don’t want to leave, but may be forced to do so. Also, the majority of our staff, x-ray techs and nurses, have had lumbar or cervical surgeries. Something needs to be done to help with the problem of the aprons. Anonymous I have cervical disc damage, but it is not from the lead. I do plan to order ergonomically-sound lead for our new cath lab employees, however. Every little bit helps! Ann-Marie McDonough, RN Jordan Hospital Plymouth, MA amcdonough@jordanhospital.org I have just recently left the cath lab and EP lab for just this reason. While I have not had any x-rays, I know that I have some damage. I live in pain from knee, back and cervical spine. I wore lead for 14 years. Dan Dindy, RCIS Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA ddindy@partners.org