Cardiovascular Technician training in US Cardiovascular Technician schools
Have you always been fascinated by the human heart? Cardiovascular technicians may schedule and perform cardio procedures to help diagnose and treat patients with heart-related diseases and ailments. In the field, you may review charts with physicians, monitor patients' heart rates, help explain and clarify complicated procedures, and serve as a liaison between doctors and their patients. Cardiovascular technicians may specialize in invasive technologies (performing tests and helping with surgical procedures), echocardiography technologies (non-invasive tests that often include ultrasounds), and vascular technologies (diagnosing certain cardiovascular disorders).
A Cardiovascular Technician
A cardiovascular technician or technologist may have the special educational and clinical training to perform various heart and circulation tests and procedures. Their job may be to assist physicians in the treatment of possible or known cardiovascular and circulation diseases. People who are interested in this profession may:
- Have mechanical aptitude to operate various types of specialized and/or computerized diagnostic equipment
- Be articulate in order to communicate effectively with physicians and patients
- Stay calm when working with stressed patients under stressful and possibly life-threatening situations
- Be reliable and dependable
- Be able to cope with the physical demands of the job, which includes long hours of standing or sitting
- Possess the ability to move and operate heavy diagnostic equipment
Some of the occupational risks may include neck and back strain, eyestrain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Stress due to dealing with patients who are seriously ill may likely to occur.
Cardiovascular technology has three areas of specialization:
1. Cardiology Technician
The cardiovascular technologist may do all prepping of the patient prior to the procedures, assist the cardiologist during surgery, and complete follow-up after surgery. Performing invasive cardiology procedures, these specialists may assist physicians with:
- Heart catheterization
- Open-heart surgeries like coronary artery bypass surgery or stent insertion
- Balloon angioplasty
- Electrophysiology testing
2. Vascular Technology
Vascular technologists deal with circulation disorders, and may use ultrasound instruments to record such things as pulses and blood flow in the body. Poor or absent circulation, which may be indicative of impending heart attack or stroke, may be pinpointed by implementing these tests. Vascular technologists may assist physicians during surgery by checking and recording:
- Blood pressure
- Oxygen saturation
- Peripheral circulation
- Vascular blood flow
- Cerebral circulation
- Abdominal circulation
Electrocardiographers perform EKGs and must pay close attention to technical information garnered by electronic equipment. EKGs record:
- The heart's rhythm over time
- Stress tests (on a treadmill or for diabetics, seated and medicated with drugs to increase heart rate)
- Sonograms ('pictures' of heart chambers and blood vessels)
- Holter monitor testing (a portable EKG machine that records the heart's rhythm over a 24-hour period or longer)
List of Schools offering Cardiovascular Programs
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