4 Cardiac Catheterization Nursing Care Plans


Cardiac catheterization is an invasive procedure in which a small flexible catheter is inserted through a vein or artery (usually the femoral vein) into the heart for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It is usually done with angiography as radiopaque contrast media is injected through the catheter and visualization of the blood flow is seen on fluoroscopic monitors. Catheterization allows measurement of blood gases and pressures within the heart chambers and great vessels; measurement of cardiac output; and detection of anatomic defects such as septal defects or obstruction to blood flow.

Therapeutic, or interventional, cardiac catheterizations use balloon angioplasty to correct such defects as stenotic valves or vessels, aortic obstruction (particularly re-coarctation of the aorta), and closure of patent ductus arteriosus.



Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals for a child who will undergo cardiac catheterization include promoting adequate perfusion, alleviating fear and anxiety, providing teaching and information, and preventing injury. Close monitoring of a child post cardiac catheterization is also crucial for the early identification of complications that will minimize mortality and morbidity rates.

Here are four nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for cardiac catheterization:


  1. Ineffective Peripheral Tissue Perfusion
  2. Hyperthermia
  3. Fear
  4. Risk For Injury


Nursing Diagnosis

  • Fear

May be related to

  • Fear of needles and fear of exposure.
  • Invasive, painful procedure
  • Separation from parents
  • Risk of harm

Possibly evidenced by

  • Expressed concern over impending procedure.
  • Apprehension
  • In children: increased motor activity
  • Inattention
  • Clinging to parent
  • Crying
  • Verbal protests
  • Withdrawal

Desired Outcomes

  • Child will not cry, cling to parents, or protest.
  • Parents will verbalize decreased anxiety/concern.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess parents’ and child’s understanding of catheterization and any special fears.Provides information on parents’ and child’s knowledge, misunderstanding and particular concerns; sources of anxiety for the parents include fear and uncertainty over the procedure, guilt and anxiety over the child’s pain, fear of complications, and
uncertainty over the outcome; for the
child, fears may include separation from parents, fear of the unknown (if the first catheterization), fear of mutilation and death, or remembered fear and pain (if repeat catheterization).
Encourage expression of fears, clarify any misconceptions or lack of knowledge.Enables parents and child to express feelings and provides them accurate, complete information.
Prepare the child using age-appropriate guidelines; use concrete explanations just prior to an event for younger children.
Include information on what the child will experience through all senses.
Age-appropriate information given to the child allows for greater understanding and reassurance; young children process information through all their senses and need to know what to expect to better cope.
Allow parents to accompany the child
and be with the child when awake postoperatively.
Children in stressful events adjust well to the presence of their parents.
Suggest to parents and child to bring a familiar, comforting item such as a blanket, pillow, stuffed toy.A familiar object provides comfort and security to the child experiencing unfamiliar events and surroundings.
Provide a rationale for pre and
post-catheterization procedure.
Having knowledge and awareness of reason for each procedure promotes better understanding and acceptance.
Inform parents that the child may
momentarily act differently at home: may need to stay close to parents, have unpleasant dreams, and be less self-sufficient; encourage parents to comfort and reassure the child, to allow the child to “re-live” the experience through stories or play, and to accept temporary setbacks in development.
Stressful events may cause the child to need extra reassurance and may cause a temporary regression in development as the child reverts to comfortable, familiar “safe” activities; children, like adults, have a need to replay stressful events in order to understand and cope, and this is often accomplished through play activities.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans for cardiovascular system disorders:

Paul Martin is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2007. Having worked as a medical-surgical nurse for five years, he handled different kinds of patients and learned how to provide individualized care to them. Now, his experiences working in the hospital is carried over to his writings to help aspiring students achieve their goals. He is currently working as a nursing instructor and have a particular interest in nursing management, emergency care, critical care, infection control, and public health. As a writer at Nurseslabs, his goal is to impart his clinical knowledge and skills to students and nurses helping them become the best version of themselves and ultimately make an impact in uplifting the nursing profession.