Cardiology

Our Team      Photogallery

A brief overview of the Cardiology Specialized Center

Our center treats patients with heart and vascular diseases. We focus on providing our inpatients and outpatients with comprehensive cardiologic care. Because of the high number of treatments we offer and the wide range of our care, we are among the largest centers in the Czech Republic. At our specialized center, we use the most advanced examination and treatment procedures.

We provide up to 24.000 patients with treatment every year. Annually, we perform approximately 2.900 diagnostic catheterizations, 130 ICD implantations, 120 radiofrequency ablations of arrhythmias, and many more.

We work closely with the Specialized Center of Cardiovascular Surgery. Thanks to our cooperation with the Specialized Center of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, we have access to the most up-to-date computing tomography equipment. 

How will your detailed schedule look like? What kind of procedures, methods or treatment can you observe? Check what can you see by shadowing every member of the mentoring team.

 

Is this specialty placement ideal for you?

  • Since we often admit patients in critical conditions, this placement requires you to be able to adapt to a demanding environment and to cope with a fast-paced work. The procedures that we carry out need to be done with precision, and the imaging methods' devices are an absolute necessity. For this reason, this placement is a deep nursing experience. Although we focus mainly on minor surgeries, the fact that we often perform acute operations makes the job even more challenging.
  • This placement is suitable for you, if you are considering a career path in nursing, cardiovascular surgery or radiology, and diagnostic imaging, as we closely cooperate with these specialized centers within our hospital. As minor surgery is a fundamental part of this specialty, you will not only witness the work of our nursing team in cooperation with technicians, but you will also observe the action of the doctors during the surgery.

Let's take a closer look at the specialties…

We provide comprehensive treatment for patients with cardiovascular diseases. Our team is qualified in interventional and non-invasive cardiology, arrhythmology and acute cardiology. We care for patients with congenital and acquired defects.

Non-invasive cardiology uses external tests to detect and treat various heart diseases in our patients without inserting instruments into their bodies. Non-invasive evaluation is ideal for patients with a history of heart disease, suspected valve disease or chest pain with an unknown cause.

Interventional cardiology focuses on treating vascular diseases with minimally invasive procedures instead of performing surgery or other methods. Our specialization is treating coronary artery disease with balloon angioplasty and stenting. These therapies unblock clogged arteries and allow them to supply blood to the heart, stop heart attacks and relieve chest pain and angina. We are also trained to perform procedures on cardiac valves and other structures.

In the Catheterization Unit, we provide direct assistance at the catheterization table and are in charge of the preparation of all the relevant materials. Catheterization is one of the most important procedures used to diagnose heart disease and determine treatment methods. It is conducted in the heart and peripheral arteries while treating acute myocardial infarction. We use catheterization when the patient suffers from cardiac rhythm disorders, congenital heart defects, heart valve disorders, coronary artery disease or diseases of the heart muscle. Throughout the entire process, we continuously monitor the ECG graph in search of any abnormalities.

We are glad to have top-notch equipment that allows us to provide our patients with the best possible care. This equipment includes CARTO, a device which enables us to perform three-dimensional electroanatomic mapping; an echocardiographic device with 3D transesophageal echocardiography; an echocardiographic tool that provides for intracardiac echocardiography; and a LUCAS Chest Compression System, which is designed for external cardiac compression.

Our center consists of the following specialized outpatient facilities:

  • Congenital and acquired cardiac defects
  • Cardiac failure
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Electrophysiology and cardiac pacing
  • Angiology

Who do we take care of?

In our department, we provide comprehensive cardiologic care to inpatients and outpatients. Our patients suffer from various heart defects and diseases.

The doctors in our outpatient facility for congenital and acquired cardiac defects focus on diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of adult patients with congenital or acquired cardiac defects.

At our outpatient facility for patients with cardiac failure, we specialize in diagnosis and treatment of cardiac failure by a differential diagnosis of endomyocardial biopsy causes (in cooperation with invasive cardiologists), setting optimal medication treatment, indication, and assurance of resynchronizing treatment of cardiac arrest in collaboration with arrhythmologists.

Patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are provided with treatment at the outpatient facility for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. We specialize in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of these patients, including alcohol ablation of the interventricular septum. The number of monitored patients with this rare disease in our facility is the largest in the Czech Republic.

At the angiology outpatient facility, we focus on diagnosing and treating patients with blood and lymph node diseases.

Our methods and procedures

Our mentoring team at the catheterization unit uses the following methods and procedures to provide the best possible care for our patients:

  • Acute and planned catheterization examinations of the heart – coronarography, percutaneous angioplasties of the coronary artery, and treatment with renal carotid artery stents.
  • Catheterization of the heart and peripheral arteries
  • Closures of atrial septal defects and foramen ovale
  • Implantation of an aortal valve through catheterization in cooperation with the cardiosurgical team
  • Transcutaneous method of introducing an aortic valve replacement through the groin
  • Connecting patients to an ECG and providing venous input

How does the usual schedule look like?

  • Our unit operates on a regular schedule Monday through Thursday, and it is closed on Friday, and therefore you will have more working hours during the first four days of the week than your fellow students in other units or specialized centers.

If you are not sure whether this choice is suitable for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will discuss your experience and motivation and come up with the best solution for you.

Our Team


Photo Jan Šibík

MUDr. Petr Kala

Cardiologist

Doctor


Cardiovascular medicine was my favorite field from the second year of my university studies, where we learned physiology. It made so much sense and seemed logic to me. Later while I studied pathophysiology, I was curious about heart diseases, pathways of regulation and conditions when they are somehow disrupted. Even while studying pharmacology, I felt that cardiovascular medicaments are well-targeted, effective and have mostly robust data from clinical studies I knew of. In my opinion,  Cardiology, in general, is one of the most Evidence-Based-Medicine oriented fields of medicine. That is nice on one hand; on the other, it forces especially younger doctors to keep attention on the news and novel findings all the time.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

I had never been the one who always wanted to be a doctor. Nobody from my family is a healthcare professional. During my studies, especially later at grammar school, I loved exploring new things and mechanisms, challenges in all the school competitions and my favorite subjects were physics, mathematics, biology,  and chemistry. I started to think about studying medicine when I was 16 years old. I dreamt about learning in detail all physiologic pathways of the human body, causes, and management of diseases and taking care of patients.

We live in the era of opportunities; I think all students should try at least a short stay abroad to widen their horizon and gain not only professional experience but also see and compare the life and cultural differences of a foreign country with the one they are familiar. You can then easily evaluate and maybe appreciate more what you have got at home but also be more critical and not narrow-minded. It is not easy all the time; you have to face new problems and challenges, sometimes successfully, sometimes less, nevertheless it always push you forward after that.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

I like the variety of cardiology procedures that we do at our specialized center. I am glad to be a part of a young, inspiring, hard-working and enthusiastic team with great support and leadership from my more experienced colleagues. Besides work, we also meet out of the hospital during informal events, sports activities, trips or congresses. Cardiology stands firmly on the grounds of evidence-based medicine and we can regularly find great clinical cardiology trials in the best world medical journals. All cardiologists around the world need to keep an eye on the new findings to be up-to-date all the time. I love the translation process from revealing the physiology and pathophysiology of certain diseases to trying to focus and target our treatment specifically, first in preclinical testing, then in small clinical series and later in guidelines-changing trials. Of course, it is not always smooth or even successful story, but those are also a part of evidence-based medicine.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

Our clinic is a sophisticated specialized center with multiple departments and positions, and we rotate between all of them during the week, so the schedule of my day depends on the current position. Thus you will see the variety of my work. There are two standard departments and an intensive-care unit (ICU) – the first standard department is for patients coming for elective procedures such as selective coronary or peripheral arterial angiography, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantations or other methods.

At the second one you can observe patients with decompensated heart failure, pulmonary embolism, arrhythmia, myocarditis and all acute cardiology conditions without the need for intensive care unit (ICU), where are hemodynamically unstable patients who require inotropic and vasopressor support, invasive ventilation or monitoring. In the morning we have a meeting of the whole center which starts at 7.45 a.m., and then I work at the department or you can check with me our patients at the outpatient ward. There is also an afternoon meeting at 3 p.m. with an exciting seminar every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Every Thursday there is a special occasion when the head of the center, professor Veselka, goes through the whole center while each physician introduces him to every patient case, the specific diagnostic algorithm and his or her treatment strategy.    

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I like almost all kinds of sport – jogging, cycling, skiing, floorball, swimming, volleyball, table tennis, hiking and traveling. I love reading not only the cardiology books and journals, although that is the kind of literature I usually read the most. smile

My motto…

Learn from the past, live in the present and dream for the future.

Photo Jan Šibík

Bc. Martina Marková

Charge Nurse

Nurse


It sounds very nice when you say to someone that your job is to take care of human hearts. Working in cardiology is beautiful and satisfying. Patients come to our department feeling very sick. After treatment, most of them go home healthy, or at least their quality of life becomes significantly better. My daily tasks - the procedures I participate in and my interaction with patients – make me feel like no day is the same. There is always something happening and afterwards I feel that I have done my job well.

Why did you become a healthcare professional?

To be honest, I almost envy you the opportunity to take part in this program. For us Czechs, there is no such option. When I was 13 I had to decide between nursing or economic school; both were interesting to me. Now, I work as a charge nurse and I actually use my positive attitude towards people and economic skills. I'm really, really glad that I decided to become a nurse. Thanks to my profession, I had a chance to work in a medical center in Saudi Arabia as well.

Working with the catheterization unit in the operating theatre is a very unique experience. Surely you would really enjoy your time with us. See you soon.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

To be a nurse in a CAT LAB is quite challenging, my field motivates me to keep working and seeing the health improvements of my patients makes me feel good about the work that I do. Of course, we must be still focused, especially when we are inserting electrodes into the heart, where there is a risk of causing an arrhythmia. Every day there is something that surprises me and I always learn something new. That’s why I am happy here.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

We work in different operating rooms and the operational program varies as well as the procedures we provide. In the stimulus operation rooms, you will see the insertion of cardiac electrodes, as well as the implantation and replacement of a pacemaker or cardioverter. Also, you might witness the implantation of a biventricular CRT-D or a reveal implantation. In the operating room of arrhythmology, you can see cardioversion or defibrillation, as well as, an electrophysiological examination of the heart and an ablation of arrhythmogenic deposits (tachyarrhythmia or atrial fibrillation).
My work also involves checking the results from the laboratory, preparing sterile and non-sterile materials, preparing instrument tables, getting the patient ready in the operating room, assisting during the performance, and monitoring the ECG and vital functions. I am also in charge of administering drugs, documentation, cleaning the operating theatre, decontaminating medical equipment, and preparing instruments for sterilization. In short, you will see the complexity of my work.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

If I want to relax I go to a wellness center, to a cinema or to a theatre. I also like traveling, sightseeing, and getting to know new places. Finally, I enjoy spending time with my friends.

My motto…

Live for the moment.

Photo Jan Šibík

Bc. Jakub Nakládal

Paramedic at Coronary Care Unit

Paramedic


Our Cardiology Specialized Center is a top notch facility where a vast variety of diagnostic and interventional procedures is performed on a daily basis. As a whole center we participate in a unique procedure of aortic valve replacement and we successfully work on a fast reperfusion of the myocardium after myocardial infarction. Patients in comatose condition, connected to artificial ventilation, experiencing hemodynamic instability of the blood circulation require intensive 24/7 monitoring. Taking care of these patients can be much more challenging in the Coronary Care Unit than in the other wards. That is the work I enjoy so much.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

My family definitely played an important role in my career choice. My mum is a nurse and some of the other family members are working as healthcare professionals, too. I have had a strong source of inspiration and support in them. Natural sciences always fascinated me and the work in the clinical environment ensured me in my decision. Today, I can't imagine working in another field. Even though working with people is demanding, I feel fulfilled and motivated to be better every day.

With my colleagues at the Coronary Care Unit we are also the resuscitation team of the entire Specialized Center of Cardiology. While shadowing me you will see our work and the care we provide to patients in acute conditions.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

My work in the unit is never a routine and that is one of the things I like so much about it. It often changes from minute to minute as our patients are frequently transferred to and from the Coronary Care Unit according to their conditions. I take care of the ones who are mostly in critical conditions or after complicated cardiac surgeries. I do enjoy to work with complex technical equipment that replaces failing organs, for example a system of continuous dialysis or contrapulsation. One of the most interesting parts of my job is everything related to resuscitation and postresuscitation care. Of course, I'm always glad to get a positive feedback from patients or their families, it's nice when someone appreciates your help and care.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

At our unit, a team of doctors, nurses, and health care staff takes care of patients with a wide range of cardiac diseases and blood circulation. Therefore you see many patient cases with different diagnoses. We receive patients after cardiac arrest requiring intense post-resuscitation team work. People are transferred to our unit with conditions associated with heart damage, ischemic heart disease or myocarditis. We take care of patients after cardiological interventions requiring continuous monitoring of vital functions. You will shadow me during the work with top equipment, or when I analyze blood gases, control venous catheters, assist during patient transfer or in OR when X-ray control is required.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

Sport is my way how to relax after work – especially football, squash, cross-country skiing, hiking and long-distance jogging. As I have been living in Prague for 2 years, I still discover its beauties while being outside with my friends. In my free time, I do not forget the need of continuous professional education in form of taking various courses and attending cardiology conferences.

My motto…

Photo Jan Šibík

Bc. Kateřina Vojtovičová

Charge Nurse

Nurse


Spending some time as part of our team that treats patients with heart disease is certainly an amazing opportunity to influence your future choice of a specialty and profession. We provide from 8 to 10 heart catheterization procedures daily. But things do not always go according to plan. When it comes to a myocardial infarction, we need to resuscitate the patient, so the work at our department can be very challenging.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

It has always been my desire to help people. I liked to play doctor or nurse when I was a child. But when you have to decide about your future life at the age of 14, you have no idea if you are making the right decision. Luckily, I succeeded. During my maternity leaves I tried working in the sport industry. Sport is my great hobby, but nevertheless I was glad that I returned to work in a hospital environment. Working as a nurse has for me a greater purpose.

The experience and atmosphere directly in the Cath lab cannot be replaced by any video or heard from a second-hand source.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

I like being a part of a team that can save a human life or at least make it better within a few minutes with a quick intervention of coronary arteries. I have the opportunity to meet interesting patients and thanks to my colleagues, my job has been my hobby for 12 years. If I should name a procedure that I like it would be the implantation of an aortal valve through a catheterization way. This method is relatively new in the world and I am proud that such a complex procedure is conducted in our department.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

Mostly we do acute and planned catheterization examinations of the heart – coronarography, percutaneous angioplastics of coronary artery, and treatment of renal and carotid artery stents. You may also see closures of atrial septal defects and foramen ovale, and also age transcutaneous method of introducing the aortic valve replacement through the groin. Among my duties is the direct assistance at the catheterization table as a sterile nurse or assistance as a non-sterile nurse that helps to bring all the important materials. It is very important to watch constantly the ECG graph and quickly notice any abnormalities. I administer intravenous medication, ensure the airways during the resuscitation of patients, and I actively take part in resuscitation and defibrillation..

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I like mainly sport of all kinds – step, in line skating, yoga, aerobic, biking, and skiing. I also like painting and being outdoors in the mountains. And of course, I enjoy seeing my friends.

My motto…

Everything works better with a smile.

 

Photo Jan Šibík

Bc. Lucie Votavová

Coronary Care Unit Nurse

Nurse


The work at the Cardiac Coronary Care Unit of the Cardiology Specialized Center is very demanding from the physical and the psychological point of view as well. Every single day is different, and there is no chance to experience any routine. Seconds decide about life or death, and adrenalin rushes through your and your colleagues' bodies. At the Coronary Unit, we perform daily resuscitation and difficult and challenging moments of struggle for patients'lives are our daily bread. Besides, modern cardiology is slowly incorporating cardiac surgery procedures such as aortic valve replacements.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

The idea of becoming a nurse came quite naturally to me as I always wanted to do a profession where I can help others. Among my family members are no healthcare professionals, so the first step to pursue my studies in nursing was a bit hesitant as I was not at all sure of what to expect. However, I was so lucky with all the teachers I met at high school and during university studies that it was an amazing period of my life. Now I can hardly imagine doing something else; what I do makes me very satisfied.

Every single day is different, and there is no chance to experience any routine. Seconds decide about life or death, and adrenalin rushes through your and your colleagues' bodies.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

I enjoy the contact with patients and their families and listening to their life stories. I like to take care of the problematic case like patients in a coma on ventilation. The best reward is when a patient with a difficult prognosis walks away out of our department thanks to our teamwork and effort of all of my colleagues. We have a great group of people working together, so we meet even outside of work, that is what makes this stressful but purposeful job even more bearable.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

Our team that you will be a part of consists of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and healthcare professionals. Every nurse is in charge of 2 - 3 patients depending on their condition. We work in 12 hours shifts and take care of the patients who need cardiac intensive care. The work at the department is hectic, and you hardly sit down as most of the incoming patients are acute and unplanned. You will witness how to take care of patients with cardiac and coronary artery diseases and the newest treatment approaches and procedures. One of the is the intervention on coronary arteries, carotid endarterectomy, septal ablation, catheterization procedures, cardiostimulator implants or patients who were resuscitated and currently are fully dependant on ventilation.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

My biggest hobby takes 90% of my free time. I play water polo semiprofessionally. I love to travel to discover new spots abroad and in the Czech Republic, too. However, I always make time to spend some time with my friends.

Photogallery

LOVE WHAT YOU DO WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT