Health Career Center

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Cardiovascular technologist and technicians administer diagnostic tests and treatments to patients recovering from cardiovascular disease. All work performed by these specialists must be approved and reviewed by doctors. The following are just a few of invasive and non-invasive procedures and tests these specialists assist with:
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiography
  • Vascular ultrasounds
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
After diagnostic tests are completed, cardiovascular technologists/technicians develop charts with patient information, so physicians have easy access to all the information they need to make accurate diagnoses.

Cardiovascular technologist also perform a number of specific procedures. These include, but are not limited to:
  • performing clinical procedures to obtain a record of anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for analysis by a lab and interpretation by a physician;
  • reviewing and/or recording relevant patient history and supporting clinical data;
  • performing cardiovascular diagnostic and therapeutic services; and
  • participating in interventional cardiovascular catheterization and/or cardiac electrophysiology procedures, including balloon angioplasty, radiofrequency ablation, stent insertion, and pacemaker and/or implantable defibrillator insertion.
Cardiovascular technologist work in medical facilities under the supervision of a medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic doctor (DO). Cardiovascular technologist usually work in one of the following settings:
  • invasive cardiovascular laboratories performing blood gas, and electrophysiology testing, cardiac catheterization, and interventional procedures;
  • noninvasive cardiovascular laboratories performing exercise stress test, echocardiography and electrocardiography testing; or
  • noninvasive peripheral vascular studies laboratories performing duplex ultrasound studies of the peripheral vascular system, plethysmography testing and segmental blood pressure measurements of extremities.
Employment Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 25 percent job growth for cardiovascular technologists and technicians until 2018, a higher growth rate than average projected growth in other industries. Growth will be spurred by rising cardiovascular disease rates and elderly populations.

Education Requirements
The military, various hospitals, vocational schools, and colleges and universities offer cardiovascular technologist and technician training programs. Depending on concentration, most students complete training in 1-4 years. Most training programs only accept students with high school degrees or GEDs.

Cardiovascular technologist and technician training programs provide classroom and clinical training in the following areas:
  • Cardiovascular technology
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Invasive and non-invasive procedures
  • Cardiac electrophysiology
  • Echocardiology
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