How to Become a Cardiology Technologist

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Cardiology is a branch of the medical field that deals with the study of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiology technologists are trained professionals that work with doctors to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of disorders of the heart and blood vessels.

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What does a cardiology technologists do?

Cardiology technologists help doctors with treating patients with many different conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. They specialize in invasive procedures and they help physicians with many different procedures such as cardiac catheterization, open-heart surgery, and inserting pacemakers. They position, clean, and shave patients and administer anesthesia to prepare them for procedures. Throughout the procedures, they monitor the patient’s vital signs and notify the physician of any problems. Cardiology technologists also perform noninvasive procedures such as electrocardiograms (EKG) and ultrasounds. They also perform clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments, reviewing paperwork of physicians, and organizing patient medical records. They often clean instruments and equipment used during procedures.

What kind of training does a cardiology technologist need?

Cardiology technologists need at least a high school diploma. Many learn their skills through on the job training, but most complete formal training programs from community colleges or vocational and technical schools. Some obtain a bachelor degree in cardiology or other related field. Cardiology technologists typically complete courses in anatomy and physiology, biology, invasive technology, and cardiology methods and procedures. Many aspiring cardiology technologists complete internships or gain part time employment in cardiology facilities to gain hands-on experience in the field. Some states require cardiology technologists to be licensed. Cardiology technologists can also gain voluntary certification from the American Cardiology Technologists Association.

What are the prospects for a career as a cardiology technologist?

Employment of cardiology technologists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 26% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The aging population and increased need for invasive cardiology procedures will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good especially for cardiology technologists with advanced training. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace cardiology technologists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do cardiology technologists make?

As of November 2009, the average annual salary for cardiology technologists is $46,000; average annual cardiology technologist salaries vary greatly on location, industry, company, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a cardiology technologist is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in cardiology and invasive procedures. Cardiology technologists must be able to follow detailed instructions and be able to put patients at east during procedures. They must have a mechanical aptitude, eye for detail, and be dependable. They must have good communication and interpersonal skills to be able to effectively interact with physicians and simply explain procedures to patients. Cardiology technologists must be able to work in stressful situations and be able to act quickly where emergencies occur.

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