Cardiac Services


Search for job openingsMedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

As an established leader in cardiovascular care for more than 50 years, the team at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center performs more than 3,500 stress tests, 11,000 echocardiograms and 75,000 electrocardiograms each year. We are the busiest heart catheterization center in the United States, performing more than 19,000 procedures annually, and we lead the region in number of open heart surgeries per year.

The program, rated in the top 20 heart centers in the country by U.S .News & World Report offers patients highly specialized diagnostic tools and treatments and procedures for a variety of heart diseases and conditions. Patients from around the world are drawn to the excellent care and state-of-the-art diagnostic technology at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute. Our nurses work tirelessly to provide world-class nursing and rehabilitative care for our heart and vascular patients, minimizing recovery times and returning patients to daily life faster. Providing a supportive and efficient treatment center for patients and families is a critical part of our mission.

The entire staff at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of heart and vascular care. That is why we have an unrivaled research capability, the Cardiovascular Research Institute, dedicated to uncovering best practices in heart and vascular care. A part of MedStar Health Research Institute, a regionally acclaimed hub of state-of-the-art research protocols and clinical trials, this facility is making strides toward better treatment and prevention for cardiovascular health.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the only hospital in Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland to offer advanced heart failure patients a chance to improve their quality of life with the left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This mechanical circulatory assist device helps pump blood for an ailing heart. Surgeons implant the device inside the body and an external battery pack keeps the LVAD operational. Patients see an improved quality of life and can return to productive work and enjoyable activities. An LVAD might be an option for patients waiting for a heart transplant and those who are not candidates for a transplant. The Hospital Center is the first in the region to be certified and recertified the use of the LVAD by The Joint Commission. Outcomes for the LVAD program at the Hospital Center exceed national benchmarks.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of two hospitals in the District to receive official notification that we earned the Quality Excellence Award from the Delmarva Foundation. The foundation only bestows this honor on hospitals that achieve a compliance score of 90 percent or higher - for three consecutive quarters in a calendar year - in 16 required clinical measures that fall under four clinical areas - heart attack, heart failure, surgical care improvement and pneumonia.

Our nurses in the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute continually strive to provide safe, evidence based care that achieves quality patient outcomes. Several members of our team have presented both posters and lectures at both local and national nursing and critical care conferences. Our team includes nationally-published authors and researchers. We are committed to the ongoing professional development of our nurses and provide many opportunities for growth and development for both the new and experienced nurse. We are especially proud of our Cardiac Services RN Residency which offers a comprehensive education and orientation program.

Cardiac Services Nursing Specialties

Cardiovascular, vascular and thoracic surgery

Medical / post cardiac intervention

Advanced Heart failure

Procedural and Inpatient Units

Coronary Care Unit (CCU)
11-bed unit, specializing in the care of critically-ill patients post myocardial infarction (MI), with cardiogenic shock, congestive heart failure (CHF) and lethal arrhythmias. Advanced technologies include CRRT, IABP Artic Sun and Impella devices.

Cardiovascular Recovery Room (CVRR)
12-bay recovery room providing care to patients in the immediate postoperative period following cardiovascular surgery.
The majority of the patients have undergone surgery for coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG) and valve repair/replacement. Advanced therapies include LVADs, , IABP, CRRT , ECMO and Arctic Sun.

Heart Failure and Transplant Unit
21-bed unit specializing in the care of the congestive heart failure with advanced therapy, including the left and right ventricular assist device (VAD), pre- and post- heart transplant patients and pulmonary hypertension patients. Three types of FDA approved ventricular assist devices (VADs) available. A multidisciplinary approach is utilized to provide comprehensive care to the Advanced Heart Failure Patient.

Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Labs

Cardiac Catheterization
11 cardiac catheterization procedure labs, and pre- and post- procedure holding areas, performing more than 19,000 interventional heart procedures including percutaneous valve repairs and more than 1,800 open heart surgeries each year.
The Jesse Ball DuPont Fund has recognized Washington Hospital Center as one of the busiest cardiac catheterization programs in the country.

Electrophysiology (EP) Laboratory
Contains four labs, one tilt room and both invasive and noninvasive cardiology services. The EP lab is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation which will open in 2013. Advanced EP technologies such as ICD placements, ablations and other treatments are performed.

Medical and Surgical Cardiology Units

Surgical Cardiology
30 cardiac surgical stepdown beds (4NW) includes post cardiac and thoracic surgical patients and 31 beds dedicated for surgical and interventional vascular care ( 4 F).

Nurses care for patients that have undergone acute surgical procedures that warrant astute clinical assessment skills and interventions.

Medical Cardiology
61 beds, with the majority patients admitted from the catheterization lab, the electrophysiology lab and the coronary care unit. The most frequent diagnoses are coronary artery disease (CAD), severe heart failure, resuscitation from sudden death, arrhythmias and conduction changes, PVD, carotid artery disease and patients awaiting heart transplantation. Patients require advanced treatment (e.g., IV vasoactive medications).

Short Stay Observation

4E is a 32 bed medical observation receives patients from the Emergency Department who require further diagnostic studies. Patients needing further care are admitted. Those who can be managed on an outpatient basis are discharged to home.

For more information. please contact Human Resources at 202-877-7447.