Bossin’ the cath lab: A practical simulation course

On Saturday 10th February we held our second ‘Bossin the cath lab’ course at The Castle Hotel, Taunton.

The course was created by Allied Healthcare Professionals (AHPs) for AHP’s and is a great example of our peer-to-peer learning support network. We had a fantastic attendance of delegates covering multiple disciplines including nurses, cardiac physiologists and radiographers who either work in the cath lab or recover patients after procedures.

The learning objectives were to give the participants practical skills they could use in their daily practice to improve patient experience, safety and outcomes while also developing their own skills and knowledge.

The day followed a rotational pathway with participants split into groups to visit the six differeing stations.

The days stations were:

  1. Heart dissection: with the opportunity to dissect an animal heart to identify the coronary arteries, atria, ventricles, myocardium, septum, aorta, pulmonary vein and associated structures including valves.
  2. ECG: practical tips on how to read ECG with a focus on lead placement, sinus rhythm, arrhythmias, electrical conduction system, PQRST, interpreting, ischemia, cell injury and cell death and what ECG changes to expect in the cath lab and how to deal with them.
  3. Auscultation of lung and heart sounds: using simulators and stethoscopes to be able to listen to the internal sounds of the body, to examine the circulatory and respiratory systems and to identify heart sounds
  4. Cath lab conundrums: reviewing angiograms with an experienced Snr nurse and consultant and discussing how best to act in each situation.
  5. Radial access: site complications and management using arm simulators and haemostasis devices.
  6. Femoral access: site complications and management using simulators and haemostasis devices.

In the short term, those who attended have left the course with immediate new skills and knowledge which will lead to patients getting better care during and after procedures. Many of the skills covered in the course are not routinely taught to Cath lab teams and certainly not with the use of simulators.

In the long-term, we hope to capitalise upon this as the beginning of a lifelong learning pathway with VP, teaching and training on a variety of Cath lab competence-based skills.