Cardiovascular Technologist: Job Description & Responsibilities

Oct 20, 2021

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians aid physicians in diagnosing and treating patients with heart and blood vessel ailments. They need at least an associate's degree but generally benefit from additional professional education.

What Does a Cardiovascular Technologist Do?

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians provide assistance to doctors who perform heart-related procedures. Most have a minimum of an associate's degree, but bachelor's degrees are also possible; candidates possessing more advanced professional credentials have better prospects for cardiovascular technologist jobs.

Required Education Associate's degree at minimum
Other Requirements Professional certification preferred
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 12% for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Median Salary (2019)* $68,750 for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists.

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Here, a cardiovascular technologist is carrying out the cardiovascular technician duties and imaging a patient

Cardiovascular Technologist Job Description

What is a cardiovascular technologist? What is the cardiovascular surgical technologist job description? The cardiovascular technician description involves working in a healthcare setting. Cardiovascular technologists and cardiovascular technicians serve as cardiovascular assistants to physicians. The cardiovascular tech job description includes aiding in the diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel issues. Their day-to-day tasks include reviewing doctor and patient documentation, scheduling appointments and monitoring patients' heart rates. Cardiovascular technologist responsibilities and daily activities also require them to look after and operate the equipment, explain test procedures to patients and identify problems in their test findings.

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians have a variety of areas of specialization, such as invasive cardiology, echocardiography, vascular technology, stress testing and electrocardiograms. Those who specialize in invasive procedures assist in the cardiac catheterization of balloon angioplasties and electrophysiology tests.

Depending on which area of specialization the cardiovascular tech works in, cardiovascular technician responsibilities and daily activities may include assisting physicians during delicate, invasive procedures. The cardiovascular job description may also involve administering drugs, shaving and cleaning the patient, positioning the patient and monitoring the patients' biological state. These cardiovascular technologist daily activities often call for working hours at odd times and days of the week.

Cardiovascular Technologist Working Conditions

Cardiovascular tech jobs typically involve working in hospitals or doctor's offices. They operate technologically advanced equipment to assist in the imaging, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular technician duties may require them to work long hours, as the presentation of cardiovascular diseases can be random and often requires immediate treatment. For this reason, cardiovascular technologists may also need to work night and weekend shifts.

Cardiovascular Technologist Academic Credentials and Specialization Training

In order to be eligible for cardiovascular technologist certification, you'll need to complete a degree, diploma, or certificate program in cardiovascular technology. This can be achieved with a diploma in cardiovascular technology offered through on-the-job training, or an undergraduate certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in cardiovascular technology earned from a college or university. These programs usually take 1-2 years to complete.

Most cardiovascular techs are required to have an associate's degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (CAAHEP) to enter into this field. Employers typically prefer an additional professional credential; several types of certifications are possible based on one's specialization. Four-year degree programs in cardiovascular technology are growing in favor. In these programs, the first two years are dedicated to core courses and the following two may be focused on an area of specialization such as invasive cardiovascular, noninvasive cardiovascular and noninvasive vascular technology.

Professional credentials in cardiovascular technology are offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or by Cardiovascular Credentialing International. In order to acquire this certification, students are often required to have continuing education credits under their belts.

Sought-after attributes for cardiovascular technology technologists include reliability, mechanical ability and the ability to comprehend detailed instructions. In order to effectively communicate with physicians, cardiovascular techs must be well-spoken and well-versed in technical terminology. Employers prefer that cardiovascular technicians have an amicable, calm demeanor due to their frequent involvement with patients.

Cardiovascular Technologist Career Path

Where do cardiovascular technologists work? Those who wish to enter into a cardiovascular technician position at a hospital may expect a challenging career with a good salary to start. They may find positions within a cardiac catheterization lab team. Other areas of employment for cardiovascular techs include electrophysiology, research, echocardiography, education, management, sales and marketing.

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians need at least an associate's degree in order to get started in the field, but many candidates will have additional professional credentials and specializations. These may include completion of a four-year degree program or certification from relevant institutions. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians are expected to see a 12% job growth between 2019 and 2029 which is considerably faster than average, making this a promising career option.

What Is the Difference Between a Cardiovascular Tech and an Ultrasound Tech?

Cardiovascular techs and ultrasound techs are both trained in operating imaging technologies to assist doctors and other medical professionals. However, cardiovascular techs are specialized in imaging and diagnostic testing for heart disease, whereas ultrasound techs are specialized in using ultrasound for imaging. Cardiovascular techs may use ultrasound, but they may also use additional imaging technologies or tests.

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