How To Become A Cardiovascular Technologist
As a cardiovascular technologist, you will work with patients who are concerned about their heart health and have been asked by their physician to get special testing done to rule out serious complications. You will operate diagnostic imaging equipment in order to conduct tests. There are many kinds of tests that cardiovascular technologists conduct, such as an echocardiograph, electrocardiogram, and more.
These tests are important because they help the patient and physician understand the problems that a person is having, so they can make a diagnosis and begin treatment if necessary. In order to become a cardiovascular technologist, you must earn a degree in the field. You must also earn certification.
Why Become A Cardiovascular Technologist
The heart is one of the most important organs of the human body. The heart is responsible for pumping blood through blood vessels, providing the body with oxygen and nutrients necessary in order to allow the body to complete important tasks. Cardiovascular diseases are quite common, and are the most common cause of death across the world. When a person’s heart is not working correctly, it can be a serious situation. Patients need to have testing done to determine what is the cause of their symptoms.
Cardiovascular technologists operate specialized equipment in order to conduct tests. They help prepare the patient for the procedure, take a medical history and answer any questions. They may have to lift the patient onto a bed. They place monitors and electrodes on the patient. They operate equipment, observing the imaging during testing. They review the images and send them off to a physician or diagnostic laboratory for final review.
It is important to note that cardiovascular technologists themselves are not physicians and cannot make a diagnosis on the findings of the tests. Instead, they work closely with a team of medical professionals, who will ultimately decide what the diagnosis is.
This is a great career choice for people who love healthcare, who want a position that will have them conducting diagnostic tests on a daily basis, and who enjoy working directly with people.
Cardiovascular Technologists should possess the following qualities and skills:
- Detail oriented
- Good communicator
- Enjoys working with people
Cardiovascular Technologist Work Environment
Cardiovascular technologists work in a medical setting. There are many places that they can find employment: hospitals, outpatient care clinics, physician offices, medical laboratories, and other such venues. Cardiovascular technologists work directly with patients, who have come into the facility for testing. They go from room to room, examining patients.
They explain to patients the procedure, help them get undressed, and do the diagnostic testing. Technologists work inside of a dimly lit room during these procedures. They must be knowledgeable of the human body and of the machinery they are working with. Testing procedures are usually scheduled during daytime hours, although technologists may have to work during weekends.
Cardiovascular Technologist Salary
The median annual salary for cardiovascular technologists was $64,280 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are many factors to take into consideration when thinking about salary. For this career field, the place of employment plays a role in the salary a person makes. Cardiovascular technologists can work in a variety of venues, including physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers and more. Those who worked in outpatient care centers tended to make the most money.
On the other end of the spectrum, those working in hospitals made, on average, the least amount of money: $54,000 annually. Technologists with additional experience and education should be able to earn higher salaries in their field.
Average Cardiovascular Technologist Salary
- Executive cardiovascular technologists (Top 10%) earn $89,450 ($43.00 an hour)
- Senior cardiovascular technologists (Top 25%) earn $73,050 ($35.12 an hour)
- Mid Level cardiovascular technologists (Median) pay is $55,570 ($26.71 an hour)
- Junior of cardiovascular technologists (Bottom 25%) earn $37,690 ($18.12 an hour)
- Entry Level of cardiovascular technologists (Bottom 10%) earn $28,650 ($13.77 an hour)
Cardiovascular Technologist Salary By State
|Rank||State||Hourly Rate||Annual Salary|
|#1||District of Columbia||$38.05||$79,150|
Cardiovascular Technologist Career Outlook
Employment for cardiovascular technologists is projected to grow by 17 percent from 2016 to 2026 within the United States. Those who are interested in this career should have no troubles finding open positions.
In recent years, people have taken a greater interest in their personal health. People are choosing to eat better, exercise more, and visit their doctors. A slew of new healthcare laws now makes it possible for people to visit specialized medical practitioners and get healthcare treatment.
Cardiovascular technologists are needed to conduct diagnostic imaging. They will make sure that the hearts of patients are in prime condition. These are necessary members of a medical team.
Cardiovascular Technologist Degree
If you would like to become a cardiovascular technologist, read more below.
Step 1: Undergraduate Education. A degree is required in order to become a professional cardiovascular technologist. You can choose from either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. There are many two or four-year programs across the United States. Choose a program in sonography, cardiovascular education, or a related field. These programs include course work in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and more.
You will have an opportunity to specialize your work, whether you would like to work in abdominal sonography, breast sonography, or other fields. In addition to coursework, these programs have a clinical component, allowing you to team up with nearby hospitals and imaging centers and see what life as a cardiovascular technologist is truly like.
Step 2: Certification. If you would like to be a cardiovascular technologist, you need to be certified. There are many specialties that you can be certified in, including abdominal sonography, breast sonography, fetal echocardiography, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric sonography, and more.
Certification is available from several organizations including the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Technologists must pass at least one exam. Many cardiovascular technologies choose to earn multiple certifications in their field.