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Oswego Career Ladders - Cardiovascular Technologist

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Cardiovascular Technologist

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Nursing and Direct Patient Care

Cardiovascular technicians assist physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments.Cardiovascular technicians specializing in invasive procedures are called Cardiology Technicians. They assist physicians with cardiac catheterization procedures in which a small tube, or catheter, is wound through a patients blood vessel from a spot on the patients leg into the heart. The procedure can determine whether a blockage exists in the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle. The procedure also can help to diagnose other problems. Part of the procedure may involve balloon angioplasty, which can be used to treat blockages of blood vessels or heart valves without the need for heart surgery. Cardiology Technicians assist physicians as they insert a catheter with a balloon on the end to the point of the obstruction.

Work Settings

About 3 out 4 jobs were in hospitals, primarily in cardiology departments. The remaining jobs were mostly in offices of physicians, including cardiologists; or in medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers.Cardiovascular Technicians spend a lot of time walking and standing. Those who work in catheterization labs may face stressful working conditions because they are in close contact with patients with serious heart ailments. Some patients, for example, may encounter complications from time to time that have life-or-death implications.


Although a few cardiovascular technicians, vascular technicians, and cardiac sonographers are currently trained on the job, most receive training in 2- to 4-year programs. Cardiovascular technicians, vascular technicians, and cardiac sonographers normally complete a 2-year junior or community college program. The first year is dedicated to core courses and is followed by a year of specialized instruction in either invasive, noninvasive cardiovascular, or noninvasive vascular technology. Those who are qualified in an allied health profession need to complete only the year of specialized instruction.Graduates from the 29 programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Cardiovascular Technology are eligible to obtain professional certification in cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, and cardiographic techniques from Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Job Outlook

Employment of cardiovascular Technicians and technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012.


Median income for cardioovascular technicians in the US was $37,419.

Work Schedule

Technicians and technologists generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week that may include weekends. Those in catheterization labs tend to work longer hours and may work evenings. They also may be on call during the night and on weekends.

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