Nurses and technologists in the interventional cardiology field will have a day to hone their skills and celebrate their professions at Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) 2019 in Washington, D.C.
The 22nd annual CRT conference is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, through Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The track dedicated to nurses and techs will take place on the conference’s second day, Sunday, March 3.
Dionne Ross, RN, nursing director for the catheter and electrophysiology laboratories at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI), which is part of Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health, said CRT’s nurses and techs program is a chance for nurses and technologists to make sure they are up to date with the latest in interventional cardiology.
“They can have hands-on demonstrations in all the booths that are set up showing them what we’re doing in the cath lab, as well as hearing from the physicians firsthand, and then all the guest speakers talking about what it is that’s new, what’s trending, what we’re doing, what’s the expectation, and how it will impact their day-to-day practice and their care for the patients,” she said.
Two of CRT’s featured keynote speakers will make appearances on Sunday. Award-winning journalist Jean Chatzky, the financial editor of NBC’s Today show, AARP’s personal finance ambassador and host of the HerMoney podcast on Apple Podcasts, will speak during the Women & Heart Symposium at lunchtime. Award-winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, producer and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien, host of the Sunday morning syndicated political show Matter of Fact, will speak during the dinner symposium “Disparities in the World of Healthcare and How to Close the Gap.”
“If you’re financially fit, you won’t have to worry and be stressed about finances,” Ross said of Chatzky. “The way people are struggling in today’s society with finances, this will be interesting to get insight into ways to save and invest.”
Not to be forgotten are the techs. Nancy Bruce, RN, assistant vice president for nursing at MHVI, said technologists benefit just as much as nurses from CRT.
“They’re the ones that primarily, most of the time, are dealing with the devices,” she said. “And they advise physicians. A savvy tech is a key member of that team.”
Rhoda Bailey, RCIS, lead registered cardiovascular tech at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said CRT is a highlight of each year.
“You might be in the TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) lab, but going to CRT, you can see what’s new in other areas,” she said. “They have the demonstrations there. And it’s just good to fellowship with your peers outside of work.”
CRT 2018 featured a first in cardiology conferences: an all-women live case. Although this was not part of the nurses and tech track, Bailey said she appreciated the spotlight CRT gave women in interventional cardiology. Conference organizers plan an encore this year.
“I think it’s important just to see that, the women in cardiology,” she said. “That’s one of the big highlights for me, to see all the women cardiologists on the panel talk about issues that affect us.”