Cardiovascular technologists and technicians help medical doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac (heart) and vascular (blood vessel) difficulties and diseases. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians work primarily in hospitals, especially in cardiology departments. The remaining positions are chiefly in the offices of physicians, including cardiologists, and in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers. As you start your training or career, you may choose to specialize in any of four areas of practice:
- Cardiology – Known as "cardiology technologists," these specialists help doctors implant cardiac catheters.
- Echocardiography – Cardiovascular technologists who choose this specialty use ultrasound to view patients' hearts.
- Electrocardiography – Called "EKG technicians," these professionals perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), run stress tests and equip patients with Holter monitors.
- Vascular technology – These cardiovascular technologists evaluate blood flow abnormalities.
Role of Cardiovascular Technologist or Technician
The main duties of a Cardiovascular Technologist/Technician include:
- Assisting physicians with diagnosing cardiology conditions
- Monitoring cardiovascular equipment during procedures
- Maneuvering patients during treatment
- Setting up and transferring heavy equipment
- Evaluating pulses and assessing blood flow in arteries and veins by listening to the vascular flow sounds for abnormalities
- Recording vascular information such as vascular blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, cerebral circulation, peripheral circulation, and abdominal circulation
- Reporting findings to the supervising physician
Skills Required to be Cardiovascular Technologist or Technician
Computers and Electronics: Should be able to use computer systems (including hardware and software). Knowledge of computers and computer to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Sound knowledge of Mathematics and Biology: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications and knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Understanding human behavior: Should have knowledge of human behavior and performance; personality, and interests; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.