Nursing: Acute Chest Pain in the Emergency Department: The Role of CT Angiography

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About the Course

Chest pain is a common complaint in the emergency department and requires meticulous history, exam and work-up. While chest pain may be due to non-cardiac complaints such as pulmonary embolism, the healthcare team must correctly identify when a patient is experiencing or at risk of developing acute coronary syndrome. Coronary computed tomography angiography and coronary artery calcium scoring are two non-invasive tests, which can help identify plaque in low-and intermediate-risk patients, and subsequently direct care as needed. There are nursing considerations specific to both these tests including obtaining pulse and blood pressure, administering medications, obtaining IV access and performing a history and exam.

This course is geared toward nurses interested in learning more about cardiac imaging for complaints of chest pain in the emergency department with a focus on computer tomography angiography.



Purpose Statement

The purpose of this article is to educate nurses about the use of computed tomography angiography in the evaluation of acute chest pain.


Learning Objectives:
  1. Name some types of cardiac imaging including the two cardiac computed tomography focused on in this article
  2. Describe the benefits of coronary computed tomography vs. more invasive testing
  3. Explain the nursing care for a patient receiving advanced cardiac testing.

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