Work alongside physicians and cardiovascular surgeons by choosing a career in cardiovascular technology. Learn more about the role of cardiovascular technicians/technologists.

Cardiovascular technicians and technologists work in medical facilities alongside doctors and cardiovascular surgeons and use advanced technology to carry out a range of medical procedures. As a cardiovascular technician, you’ll assist other medical personnel in diagnosing and treating health problems related to our heart and blood circulation system.

What will I do?
A cardiovascular technician assists doctors and surgeons –examining and assessing patients, carrying out cardiovascular imaging, preparing patients for surgery, arranging for lab tests, assisting during surgery, and monitoring patients’ recovery and rehab are just a few of the work roles of a cardiovascular technician. Your main work environment will be a hospital or other advanced medical care facility. As a cardiovascular technician, you’ll also be working in close contact with patients.

Requirements of the Job
Cardiovascular technology puts you at the forefront of medical technology. Mechanical and technological aptitude, dexterity, good communication skills, and the ability to stay calm under highly stressful situations are also vital. As a cardiovascular technician or technologist, you’ll also be dealing with severely ill people and a degree of empathy and patience will definitely be quite useful. Another important trait required is being comfortable around blood as you could be asked to assist during surgery.

Study Options
Several colleges and universities offer Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Cardiovascular Technology. No matter what course you opt for, some subjects you’ll study include:

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Statistics
  • Cardiovascular physiology
  • Vascular and Cardiac illnesses
  • Pediatric care
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Invasive cardiovascular treatments
  • Sterilization techniques and standards
  • Non-invasive treatments
  • Cardiovascular imaging
  • Ultrasound and echocardiography
  • Pharmacology and medicinal dosage practices
  • Developments in cardiac and cardiovascular care technology

The best colleges will offer courses accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education or Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Students can also seek certification from health and medical industry organizations such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International or the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Some states may require certification before allowing a cardiovascular technician to start practicing. As this career involves the use of advanced technology, you’ll also have to attend short-term courses and read up on the latest developments in your field.

Those of you with training and expertise in an allied medical field can also opt for short-term courses to augment your existing qualifications. This career might be a good fit for other technicians working in healthcare or for nursing personnel.

Career Prospects
Cardiovascular technology offers excellent career prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, job growth is much higher than average, with median pay in 2010 being $49,410. Being qualified medical personnel, cardiovascular technicians are in high demand at hospitals and heart care clinics. With advances in medical technology leading to greater use of non-invasive cardiac care treatments, career prospects are expected to stay bright. Some job roles available for trained personnel include:

  • Clinical Applications Specialist
  • Non-invasive Cardiovascular specialist
  • Invasive Cardiovascular Treatment and Imaging Technician
  • Electrophysiology Specialist

It’s also possible for you to build upon your cardiovascular technology qualifications by seeking training in allied fields such as dialysis tech.