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Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Career

Career Description

Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests. Includes vascular technologists.

What Job Titles Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Might Have

  • Cardiology Technician
  • Cardiovascular Technician
  • Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT)
  • Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS)

What Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Do

  • Conduct electrocardiogram (EKG), phonocardiogram, echocardiogram, stress testing, or other cardiovascular tests to record patients' cardiac activity, using specialized electronic test equipment, recording devices, or laboratory instruments.
  • Explain testing procedures to patients to obtain cooperation and reduce anxiety.
  • Monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
  • Obtain and record patient identification, medical history, or test results.
  • Monitor patients' comfort and safety during tests, alerting physicians to abnormalities or changes in patient responses.
  • Prepare and position patients for testing.
  • Attach electrodes to the patients' chests, arms, and legs, connect electrodes to leads from the electrocardiogram (EKG) machine, and operate the EKG machine to obtain a reading.
  • Adjust equipment and controls according to physicians' orders or established protocol.
  • Check, test, and maintain cardiology equipment, making minor repairs when necessary, to ensure proper operation.
  • Supervise or train other cardiology technologists or students.
  • Compare measurements of heart wall thickness and chamber sizes to standard norms to identify abnormalities.
  • Maintain a proper sterile field during surgical procedures.
  • Observe ultrasound display screen and listen to signals to record vascular information, such as blood pressure, limb volume changes, oxygen saturation, or cerebral circulation.
  • Assist surgeons with vascular procedures, such as preparing balloons and stents.
  • Assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac or peripheral vascular treatments, such as implanting pacemakers or assisting with balloon angioplasties to treat blood vessel blockages.
  • Assess cardiac physiology and calculate valve areas from blood flow velocity measurements.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Observe gauges, recorder, and video screens of data analysis system during imaging of cardiovascular system.
  • Inject contrast medium into patients' blood vessels.
  • Transcribe, type, and distribute reports of diagnostic procedures for interpretation by physician.
  • Enter factors such as amount and quality of radiation beam, and filming sequence, into computer.
  • Conduct tests of pulmonary system, using spirometer or other respiratory testing equipment.
  • Activate fluoroscope and camera to produce images used to guide catheter through cardiovascular system.
  • Set up 24-hour Holter and event monitors, scan and interpret tapes, and report results to physicians.
  • Perform general administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments or ordering supplies or equipment.

What Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

What Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $55,570

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.