The job description of the cardiac of the cardiac nurse specialist involves assisting patients who have heart conditions and educating them about wise health choices in food intake and exercise that are good for the heart. The nurse also checks the patient’s vital signs and monitors the patient’s medications.
The cardiac nurse specialist treats patients with coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and other heart diseases, and answers questions, provides education and emotional support for the patient’s family.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Cardiac Nurse Specialist
- Treats patients who suffer from conditions that affect their cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.
- Assists with diagnostic tests like electrocardiograms.
- Educates patients on ways to prevent heart disease.
- Educates family on how to help the patient engage in healthy behavior at home.
- Updates electronic medical records.
- Answers patient questions regarding nutrition and exercise.
- Helps patients with postoperative rehabilitation.
- Handles emergency cardiovascular episodes.
- Provides patient care before and after cardiac surgery.
- Operates machinery that aids in the diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases.
- Administers stress tests.
- Monitors cardiovascular equipment readings.
- Keeps physician informed of any changes in the patient.
- Administers medications.
- Starts and checks intravenous drips.
- Modifies patient treatments based on patient responses.
- Contacts physicians with questions and concerns regarding patients’ conditions.
- Carries out cardiologists’ orders.
- Operates defibrillators in the event of an emergency.
- Diagnoses heart conditions in patients.
- Works under the supervision of a cardiologist which is a physician that specializes in care of the heart.
- Examines patients in an emergency room setting.
- Takes continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on new techniques, technologies and medications.
- Stays in compliance with patient privacy laws.
- Informs nurses on other shifts about any extenuating circumstances involving patients.
- Instructs nursing students and interns.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Knowledge of accepted treatments for patients with cardio-related conditions.
- Must have excellent hand-eye coordination.
- Must have superior written and verbal communication skills.
- Must have good critical thinking skills and be an active listener.
- Must be a superb multi-tasker.
- Good decision making skills to exercise sound judgment are necessary.
- Must have excellent complex problem solving skills.
- Knowledge of Psychology, English and foreign languages such as Spanish.
- Knowledge of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR techniques.
- Must be detail oriented.
- Should have good computer skills.
- Must have good leadership skills.
- Knowledge of all cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary equipment.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
- Clinical cardiac nursing experience.
- Pass the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN to earn a license as a registered nurse.
- Certification in cardiology from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
- Certification in cardiology from the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine.
- Master of Science degree in Nursing with a specialty in cardiology.
- Residency in cardiac nursing.
- Must be able to do shift work.
- Must be able to tolerate extremely stressful situations such as health emergencies.
- Time is spent primarily walking, bending and reaching.
- Must be able to cope with unruly and even dangerous patients.
- Must be able to work long hours.
- Salaries range from $43,000 to $93,000 depending on years of experience and the healthcare facility.