The results of this evaluation indicate that specially trained critical care nurses can remove femoral sheaths with an acceptable margin of safety. As a result, these nurses can provide quality, cost-effective care to angioplasty patients. However, before this procedure is included as part of the RN's responsibility, written protocols are needed to identify appropriate patients, proper removal technique, and specific actions to take if complications occur. In addition, plans must be developed for initial education and ongoing competency evaluation to ensure that each nurse involved maintains an adequate knowledge base and skill level.

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