Two healthcare professionals performing heart procedure

5 Ways Cath Lab Techs Can Make Their Patients More Comfortable

Cath lab technologists, or cardiac catheterization technologists, assist with tests that help diagnose various heart conditions. This may include catheterization of the heart, operating various machines that help test the heart and monitoring patients' vital signs during tests.

Another aspect of a cath lab technologist's job is making your patients more comfortable by explaining what will happen during various procedures and providing reassurance if they're nervous. Create a calming, more comfortable environment for your patients by minimizing their stress through these five simple techniques.

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1. Communication is key
When faced with situations concerning heart health, cath lab patients are often stressed and want information. Providing this information to your patients through frequent, timely communication is the first step to making them feel more comfortable. Give them details on why and how each phase of the procedure is done to better prepare them and help dispel discomfort and fear.

One of the most common cath lab patient complaints is not being kept informed, especially when there is a delay. When the lab backs up and your patient's procedure is delayed, help ease their anxiety by communicating with them why there's a delay and offer an estimated wait time with periodic updates.

Step-by-step explanations once the patient's procedure is underway further increases their comfort level and reassures them that everything is going as it should.

2. Make a connection with your cath lab patients
Along with good communication, connecting with your cath lab patients from the outset helps minimize stress and maximize comfort. Start off on the right foot by introducing yourself as soon as your patient arrives.

Introduce them to the other medical staff performing their procedure and explain each staff member's role to build your patient's trust in their caregivers. Attempt to connect on a personal level to let your patients know they're more than just a case number to you.

Invest some time in getting to know your patients through casual conversation, especially on topics that help put them at ease. Showing interest in them as a person and not just a patient makes them more comfortable with you and the procedure.

3. Balance technology's impact
Technological innovations help increase cath lab efficiency and often create a feeling of confidence in your patients, which can help make them feel more comfortable.

On the flip side, sophisticated machinery can also be intimidating, which may increase stress. Soften the impact of technology by making your facility more aesthetically pleasing. Good aesthetics can also ease anxiety over the patient's upcoming procedure and potential heart health situation.

Travel the country while working with the latest technology in a variety of healthcare settings when you find cath lab technologist and other allied health jobs at AMN Healthcare.

4. Make transitions as calming as possible
Aesthetics should also play a role in a patient's experience during transportation from the waiting room to the procedure room to the recovery room. You want the distance between each transition to be as small as possible, but in some hospital setups, this isn't always possible.

Thus, you want everything the patient sees, especially when being transported into the procedure room, to be as soothing as possible. Earth tones are calming, so encourage your medical facility to incorporate these colors into various design details and the materials used. Even the right lighting during transitions can help minimize stress.

5. Privacy and comfort go together
Respecting your patients' privacy every step of the way helps increase their comfort. When prepping or examining your patients, always close the door or draw the curtain, provide covers and keep the genital area concealed as much as possible. Invasive cardiac catheterization involves a high level of intimacy, so it's critical to find ways to maintain your patient's modesty to minimize stress.

Remember, privacy extends beyond the patient's body and should also include their information. Confidentiality concerning the patient's condition, care and upcoming procedure is a vital part of a patient's privacy, comfort level and trust in you as their cath lab technologist.

Ensuring your patient's comfort doesn't end when the procedure is over. Always let them know who to call or what to do should they have any questions, concerns or medical issues following the procedure to help them feel more confident and comfortable as they're being discharged from your care.

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