Working as a cardiovascular technician can be an exciting and rewarding career in the field of cardiology.
A cardiovascular technician assists a cardiologist in diagnosing cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) conditions.
To become a cardiovascular technician, you will have to receive the proper training before you can be considered for a position.
However, if you’re looking to get into the healthcare field, a career as a cardiovascular technician may be for you.
Health problems related to cardiovascular issues have become one of the main concerns of healthcare professionals these days.
Change in life style and eating processed foods containing saturated fat has led to the increase of cardiovascular diseases all over the world.
So there is a huge demand for well-qualified and reliable cardiovascular technicians.
Education Requirements to Become a Cardiovascular Technician
As people say, before getting into the water it is always better to test it; so it is important to know what you’re getting into before you decide to become a cardiovascular technician.
As this job is all about extending healthcare services, proper training and experience are the two things that matter the most.
Just find an institute that offers training in this field and enroll for a suitable course.
Since cardiovascular treatment is a complex and modern medical science, it is essential to have a proper education in this field.
Like other medical careers, to become a cardiovascular technician, you require an associate degree and certification.
An associate degree in cardiovascular technology from an accredited program is required, and the coursework of cardiovascular technician typically includes the concepts of mathematics and science including physics, biology, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.
This coursework also includes more than 800 clinical training hours to provide graduates with hand–on- experience with patients.
On the successful completion of the degree in this field, the final step is to complete the test for Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS).
Some institutes also offer a four year bachelor’s degree program in cardiovascular technology.
In the first two years, the students are taught the fundamentals of cardiac science and some general studies; and in the last two years, students study advanced health science and can even have an extended internship.
Things that students learn include cardiac health conditions, operating ECG equipment, running diagnostic scans and helping the physicians in the treatment.
These comprehensive education programs allow the students to learn all the intricate affairs of cardiovascular technology and they are able to build a successful career in this field quite easily.
Job Description of a Cardiovascular Technician
The job responsibilities of a cardiovascular technician can vary depending upon the needs of a cardiologist and patient, but they will work closely with the doctors and other health staff in treating patients.
Technicians are also required to operate the cardiovascular equipment, communicate with the patients regarding the test procedures and identify the medical problems in the test.
The duties of cardiovascular technician include:
- Positioning patients for the procedure
- Connecting patients to the monitoring equipment
- Loading balloons onto wire for implantation into patients
- Injecting chemicals into patients
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Career Path and Salary
On an average, a cardiovascular technician earns almost $25 per hour or a median salary of $49,000.
According to Bureau of labor Statistics, the average annual salary of Cardiovascular Technologist is $48,640 based on 2008 data.
You may have to start at a lower level but as you gain more and more experience and skills, your salary will increase over time.
It is to be kept in mind that cardiovascular technicians are a backbone of hospitals and clinics, and there is a good employment prospect for this field.
It has been calculated that between 2008 and 2018, the employment rate for cardiovascular technicians is going to increase by 24 percent.
As a result, if you are looking for a lucrative and safe career option, a career as a cardiovascular technician may be perfect for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cardiovascular technician?
Cardiovascular technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac and vascular illnesses.
Cardiovascular technicians can specialize in invasive cardiology, cardiac sonography or vascular technology/sonography.
Those who specialize in invasive cardiology assist with cardiac catheterization and may also prepare and monitor patients during open-heart surgeries and during the insertion of stents and pacemakers.
Cardiac sonographers use ultrasound equipment to examine a patient’s heart while vascular sonographers examine blood vessels to help physicians diagnose vascular problems.
They usually work full-time but they may also be on-call, the exact schedule depends on the employer and the specialty.
Cardiovascular technicians need a variety of skills, including good hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, an eye for details, technical skills, and physical stamina.
How much does a cardiovascular technician make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $56,850 in May 2018.
Salaries in this field vary widely, depending on the technician’s education, level of experience and the employer.
Some make less than $30,000 while others make more than $90,000 a year.
How much does it cost to become a cardiovascular technician?
Cardiovascular technicians need an associate’s degree or a post-secondary certification and in some cases, they also need professional certification.
Most programs include classes in anatomy and medical terminology, vascular technology procedures but also a clinical part during which students gain hands-on experience while working under the supervision of an experienced technologist in a real hospital or in an imaging laboratory.
Costs vary depending on the program and the school you choose.
For example, a certificate in sonography can cost anywhere between $10,000 and more than $20,000.
Associate’s degree programs for ultrasound technicians cost somewhere in the range of $6,000-$40,000.
What is the demand for cardiovascular technicians?
Employment for cardiovascular technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028.
They will continue to be needed to help cardiologists diagnose medical conditions and to provide an alternative to imaging techniques that involve radiation.
Holding a professional certification can give you better job prospects and holding a credential in more than one specialty can also be a plus.
How long does it take to become a cardiovascular technician?
Certificate programs in sonography can be completed in one or two years.
Associate’s degree programs for ultrasound technicians can usually be completed in 2-4 years.
Many employers prefer candidates that possess a certificate from a professional organization, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Cardiovascular Credentialing International or American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Certification requirements vary depending on the organization and the specialty but it usually requires passing an exam.
Many cardiovascular technicians hold certificates in more than one specialty.
A few states also require cardiovascular technicians to be licensed in order to practice; exact licensing requirements vary by state.