The Department of Cardiology at the Launceston General Hospital is a busy, academic and clinical training program located in the north of the state. It currently services a population catchment of 250,000. It is staffed by five cardiologists, two of which perform invasive and interventional procedures. The other three are active in the non-invasive investigations routinely performed in the department. The clinical services offered include:
- Stress Testing
- Trans-oesophageal echocardiography
- Tilt Table Testing
- Holter monitoring
- Pacemaker Clinic
- Diagnostic Angiography
- Percutaneous coronary interventions
- ASD/PFO closure
- Peripheral interventions
- Rotational atherectomy
In addition to these current services, plans are currently underway for the introduction of CT coronary angiography as a supplemental tool for the management of selected cases. A collaborative nuclear cardiology department also exists which actively participates in weekly conferences.
On average, the department will perform upwards of 2500 resting echocardiograms per year. In addition 450+ stress echo’s will be completed and between 400-500 trans-oesophageal studies are to be expected per year. As with any busy department, an array of Holter monitors and event recorders require clinical interpretation. Tilt table testing remains performed within the department for investigation of syncope.
The Cardiac Catheterisation Lab is a busy 24 hour/day, 7 days per week interventional service open for the management of acute cardiac presentations. The single lab will perform between 1200-1400 diagnostic coronary angiograms per year and over 500 coronary interventions. This volume includes approximately 100 acute STEMI’s which are managed directly in the Cath Lab. As a transfer, referral hospital, LGH Cath Lab accepts all patients receiving thrombolysis from other outlying smaller northern hospitals with recue-PCI performed as needed.
The Cath Lab is also set up for peripheral interventions including renal revascularisation and is the location for all pacemaker implantations done within THON. Approximately 120 pacemaker devices are implanted per year. The pacer clinic will see over 1700 patients/year within the department.
The LGH is one of a few clinical training programs accredited for full core training in cardiology yet not located in a capital city of Australia. There are currently 2 advanced trainees within the department and an interventional fellow. Given the close association of the consultant staff with trainees, combined with a significant procedural volume within the department, there is an opportunity for any trainee to obtain all their case numbers accepted by the Royal College of Physicians. The advanced trainee is further supported in their clinical duties by a full training program in general medicine (BPT) within the department of medicine.
If interested in information regarding the cardiology training program at the LGH, please phone LGH cardiology department on: (03) 6348 7465 or (03) 6348 7485
Cardiology Nursing Department
Within the nursing division of cardiology there are several sub-departments with an overseeing NUM:
- Non-invasive cardiology department
- Cardiac Cath Lab
- Northern Coronary Care Unit ( NCCU)
- Pacing Unit
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Pre assessment Clinic
All areas have a nursing FTE assigned; however staff are given the opportunity to cross-skill in all areas.
Northern Coronary Care
NCCU nursing staff are trained in coronary care and manage a range of acute and non-acute conditions that typically present to a regional hospital. There are four monitored beds in the NCCU and two within the critical care unit for more seriously ill cardiac presentations. All nurses are ALS competent.
LGH Cath Lab is staffed with six nurses per day, with each nurse able to scrub, scout, monitor haemodynamics, and recover patients. They are competent in the use of standard Cath Lab equipment, plus IABP, FFR, Rotational atherectomy, ACIST device plus a range of other lower-end equipment related to patient management. All nurses are ALS competent. The Cath Lab is supported with a large percentage of experienced nursing staff able to mentor a learning practitioner in the area.
Nursing provides up to three nurses on different days to support this program. Nurses assist in a variety of procedures – tilt table testing, stress echos, TOE’s, DCR’s, bubble study testing, ECGs, Holter and events monitoring.
This is a contemporary secondary prevention service that aims to provide better quality of life and improved symptoms. It is staffed with a Clinical Nurse Consultant who works in conjunction with the physiotherapy department. The programs receive approximately 380 referrals, and sends 250 referrals per year.
The pacing unit consists of a senior pacing cardiac technician who sees over 1700 patients per year. The unit services pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Approximately 120 devices per year are implanted at LGH.
Pre Assessment Clinic
Manned by a nurse and an admin assistant, running 2 days/week, the assessment clinic is a phone-contact system which prepares the patients for procedures that occur in the Cath Lab. It pre-assesses over 1000 elective patients per year.