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Career Profile: Cardiovascular Technician

Why Is Cardiovascular Technology a Job of Tomorrow?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., resulting in more than 630,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is little wonder, then, that cardiovascular technicians play an important part in the health care field? And with an increasing population, the need for cardiovascular technicians to keep America heart healthy becomes more crucial than ever. The average annual salary for cardiovascular technicians is $42,300.

What Does a Cardiovascular Technician Do?
Cardiovascular technicians help physicians diagnose and treat heart-related disorders and conditions. These ailments include heart attack recovery and heart palpitations. The technicians take care of the routine aspects of handling patients, such as setting appointments, reviewing physician notes, verifying the patient's past medical history and performing standard examinations such as heart rate monitoring and ultrasound readings. In addition to routine responsibilities, cardiovascular technicians also can specialize in invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology, vascular technology or echocardiography. Technicians specializing in invasive cardiology help physicians thread a catheter through the patient's artery to treat arterial blockage or look for other arterial conditions. Technicians specializing in noninvasive technology typically use ultrasound equipment to diagnose a condition. Vascular technologists specialize in diagnosing and treating circulation-related disorders. Echocardiography technicians specialize in electrocardiograms and stress testing. All of these specializations enable cardiovascular technicians to promote heart health and reduce the number of heart disease victims.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Cardiovascular Technician?
Most cardiovascular technicians earn a bachelor's degree in a health care related major. Although some technicians have only an associate level degree, more and more employers are seeking applicants with at least a bachelor's education, as it indicates that the applicant is serious about working in the cardiovascular field. A bachelor's degree program takes four years to complete, and courses include anatomy, physics and biology. Typically, prospective cardiovascular technicians also receive on-site training in the specifics of their duties, which can last eight to 16 weeks. Some states require that cardiovascular technicians be licensed, though this requirement varies.