Invasive Cardiovascular Technology Associate Degree

In an invasice cardiovascular technology program, you learn how to prepare patients for various catheterization processes, then assist and monitor the procedure. Read on to find out more about how to find an accredited program and degree requirements. Learn about voluntary certification, and get the career outlook and earning potential for this job. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Why Is an Invasive Cardiovascular Technology Associate's Degree Important?

If you specialize in invasive CVT, rather than non-invasive CVT, you're intimately associated with the physical aspects of a surgical procedure. Primarily, this career involves assisting in cardiac catheterization, in which a tube is threaded through an artery into the heart, by way of an incision in the patient's groin.

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is a primary postsecondary programming accrediting agency, recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. At its website, the CAAHEP offers a list of over 20 schools around the country that offer accredited associate's degree programs in invasive CVT.

Degree Overview2-year program, 60-81 credit hours
Common CoursesPharmacology, cardiac anatomy and physiology, intravascular interventional procedures; clinical rotations and internships
Admission Requirements Background check, current immunizations, active CPR certification
Certification Graduates may be prepared for voluntary certification exams
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 22% for cardiovascular technologists and technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Degree Specifics?

A program generally takes you two years to complete and can lead to an Associate in Applied Science in Cardiovascular Technology with an emphasis on invasive CVT. Depending on the school, a program can consist of 65-81 credits.

Typical courses may include cardiac anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, hemodynamics, fundamentals of invasive CVT, intravascular interventional procedures, pharmacology, psychology and non-invasive CVT. All programs involve extensive internships and clinical opportunities.

Prior to your participation in an internship, you may have to undergo a criminal background check. You may also be required to provide proof of an up-to-date immunization record and hold a current CPR credential.

It should be noted that there are schools that offer you a chance to pursue an associate's degree in invasive CVT online. However, there are no online programs in invasive CVT accredited by the CAAHEP.

What Sort of Certification Do I Need?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while certification is voluntary, most employers require you to be credentialed (www.bls.gov). Graduation from an accredited program can qualify you to sit for a certification examination. Examinations are administered by Cardiovascular Credentialing International. Passing the examination designates you as a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS).

What Is the Employment Outlook?

The BLS states that most positions as an RCIS are available within the cardiology department in hospitals. However, you may also find employment with a physician's or cardiologist's private practice, at a diagnostic laboratory or imaging center.

The BLS notes that employment for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was expected to increase 22% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average. The most recent salary statistics were compiled in 2014. At that time, the mean annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians was $55,210.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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