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Skill for a Cardiovascular Technician

Jun 07, 2010

Cardiovascular technicians are valuable members of the health care team. They can work in a number of settings like cardiology offices and outpatient centers that conduct imaging tests and stress tests. Generally, the more education that a cardiovascular technician has, the better equipped they are to assist physicians and other health care professionals in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease.

Job Responsibilities and Special Skills

Cardiovascular technicians are responsible for scheduling appointments in an office setting, reviewing test results, and scheduling further testing (like heart catheterizations and stress tests). They also help out in the office by explaining different procedures to patients and talking to patients about concerns. Technologists can specialize in different procedures. For example, they might be experts in echocardiography – the science of using ultrasound waves to examine the vasculature of the heart including the major vessels, valves, and chambers. A cardiovascular technician needs to have a great understanding about the vasculature, anatomy, and physiology of a patient's heart in order to be sure that the images she is obtaining or the test she is doing is exactly right. A cardiovascular technician also will be expected to act in a professional manner while doing testing.

They might also specialize in electrocardiography, the study of the electrical patterns in the heart. This might be by doing EKGs or helping with stress tests. Cardiovascular technicians can also help with the diagnosis of vascular disorders: these specially trained technicians check pulses, arteries, and veins for clots or decreased blood flow that might be causing a serious problem. Often people who work as vascular technicians will evaluate patients near the time of surgery. Technicians need to be great at working with both people (like patients and doctors) and also very technically knowledgeable about the machines they are expected to use. They should understand how to properly operate their machines and also troubleshoot any minor problems that might occur with the equipment.

Education Requirements

Most cardiovascular technicians have an associate's degree to train them to do their job properly. While four year degrees are available at some institutions of higher learning, most cardiovascular technicians have only an associate's degree. Some technicians choose to become certified in their particular field of study, but for most jobs that is optional. During classes to become a cardiovascular tech, instructors will focus on both clinical work as well as in-classroom instruction.

Is Becoming a Cardiovascular Technician the Right Choice for You?

If you enjoy working in a fast paced and demanding job, a career as a cardiovascular technician might be the right choice for you. Helping people and assisting with a variety of procedures takes training and skill, but many techs are experts in the heart after a short time on the job.

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