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A Day in the Life of a Cardiovascular Technician

Apr 08, 2010

When the cardiovascular technician arrives in the parking lot at her job at the local hospital, she already has a smile on her face.  Dressed in her scrubs, she quickly walks across the parking lot and enters then non-invasive cardiology center where she works alongside other technicians as well as the hospital's cardiologists.  Today the cardiology center has a full schedule with plenty of patients to keep everyone very busy. 

Her first patient of the day is here for a treadmill stress test that one of the cardiologists ordered.  The technician brings the patient back to one of the exam rooms and checks the patient's vital signs.  She asks about any recent health problems and current medications and allergies.  The technician is glad to see that the patient has worn comfortable shoes for her test.  They now go into the treadmill room where the technician connects a heart monitor as well as a pulse oximetry monitor to the patient to monitor her vital signs during the test.  The cardiologist comes in the room as the test begins and speaks briefly to the patient and the technician.  When the test is done, everyone is relieved to see that the patient's stress test is well within normal limits.  The technician takes the patient back to another examination room so the cardiologist can come right in and speak to her about her results. 

Next up is yet another stress test.  This time a gentlemen comes into the treadmill room and the monitor is applied.  The technician begins the test as she normally does after the application of the necessary equipment.  This time the results are not exactly right.  The knowledgeable technician quickly pages the cardiologist to review the results.   The patient is now complaining of chest pain and jaw pain.  The cardiologist is dismayed to see the man's results.  He calls his partner and the patient is transferred immediately to the main hospital for a heart catheterization.  While he is there the cardiologist finds several arteries are nearly completely blocked!  When she hears this, the technician is glad she was able to help the man that day.  If he had not come in for his test that morning, something terrible could have happened to him. 

The technician's next patient is coming to the center for application of a Holter event monitor.  She is going to be wearing the monitor for the next several days because she feels like her heart is beating too fast.  The technician explains to the patient how the monitor works and what to do if she feels palpitations. The patient understands the technician's clear directions. 

Before she knows it, it is the technician's lunch time.  After lunch, she returns to the office and does several EKGs on the cardiologist's new patients.  An EKG is a measurement of the electrical activity in the heart.  The EKGs do not show any serious abnormalities, but the technician leaves them for the cardiologist to give his final review of the print-outs. 

When she looks at her watch, she can barely believe it is already almost time to head home.  The technician calls her patients for the next day to verify their appointments and remind them of the correct times to arrive as well as special instructions for their particular procedures.  As she walks to her car later, she is glad her day went so quickly and she was able to help her patients.  And she gets to come back and do it again tomorrow.

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