Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Career Video
Description: Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic, therapeutic, or research purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
It takes a team to accomplish the everyday miracles of modern care for heart patients. Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians are essential members of that team. Technologists are trained to prepare patients and assist physicians during procedures such as cardiac catheterization and open-heart surgery. They also monitor patients’ blood pressure and heart rate. The work requires a high degree of precision and concentration, but also the ability to keep patients comfortable and ease their anxiety. The work of technicians focuses on the measurement of the electrical signals generated by the heart— called an electrocardiogram, or EKG. Technicians place sensors on the patient, and operate different machines that record the patient’s heartbeat. They also administer stress tests. Some technicians take images, known as echocardiograms, of a patient’s heart using ultrasound equipment. An associate’s degree in cardiovascular technology and certification are the most common qualifications needed for employment. The work can be stressful, but very rewarding because every hour of every day someone’s life is on the line.