Heart to Heart
The heart surgeon takes center stage when in the operating room, but cardiovascular technicians and technologists play an important role in the diagnosis of the heart condition of patients. Cardiac technicians help doctors to assess blood flow in the patient's arteries, oxygen levels in the blood stream, peripheral circulation, and many other vital signs, which help to determine the state of health and workings of the heart.
Invasive and Non-Invasive
Cardiac technologists who specialize in invasive procedures are responsible for assisting doctors with catheterization (a procedure in which a small tube is treaded through an artery), angioplasty (which helps to clear blockages in heart valves or blood vessels), and other tasks that deal with implementing probes or devices into the body. Non-invasive cardiac technicians perform duties such as sonic imaging, EKGs (electrocardiograph) and stress testing patients on treadmills while monitoring their vital signs.
Training and Education
A 2-year degree program is needed for a cardiovascular career. Presently, 4-year degree programs are becoming more available for cardiovascular technicians and technologists.
You May Need to be Certified
In some states, you must be licensed or certified to be a cardiovascular technologist. Two organizations provide this service: Cardiovascular Credentialing International and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Although it is not mandatory to receive these certificates in states that do not demand licensing, being certified is usually preferred by the majority of employers for those who are seeking a cardiovascular career.
The Following Schools Provide Educational Programs For Cardiovascular Careers: